Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has launched another attack on his Cross River State counterpart, Prof Ben Ayade. About three months ago, before Ayade’s formal defection to the APC, Wike had attacked him verbally, insinuating that his Cross River colleague was behaving like a 419 person.
Wike’s utterances had attracted the anger of a lot of people, including top politicians from Cross River who were not even in the same party with Ayade at the time. They saw the attacks by Wike as an insult on their governor.
But Wike was not done. He had even said at that time that he would attack Ayade again if he dared him.
Wike had said “If you want to talk about us, come out and be bold and talk about Rivers State, I am not a 419 governor. When Federal Government refunded us money, I came and announced it, some of them, they were given the same money with me, did they announce it to their state?”
“I challenge the one (Ayade) that was talking last night, invite people to come and commission projects, It’s not to short-change your people, carry their forest reserve and sell as timber, It’s not by force, it’s not by propaganda, it’s not by giving budget that’s unrealistic, fraudulent budget, a very poor state will be giving budgets of over one trillion when Rivers state cannot give a budget of N400 billion.”
And during the weekend, Wike went for Ayade’s jugular again, this time asking his party to take legal steps to bring down Ayade for dumping the PDP for the APC.
“The time has come that the judiciary must have to rise to the occasion to make a final pronouncement of this issue of defection and that will go a long way to strengthen our democracy. Because if we do not take action, you will find a situation where you will have a one party State and that will not be good for our democracy.
“And so, I have encouraged the PDP, they must file a suit against the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi and the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade for defecting to the All Progressives Congress without any reason provided in the constitution or any other enabling law.
“What PDP is looking for is not just that they want to reclaim the seats, but that a pronouncement must be made by the judiciary on this incessant defection without no reasons at all, in order to enhance and strength our democracy.”
“Let it be on record that the party (PDP) has been able to challenge it and let us await the outcome of the decision of the court because the court has a role to strengthen our democracy. And part of the role the court must play is to make a final pronouncement on this issue of defection from one party to the other.”
While Ayade is grieving over recent court judgements which sacked his loyalist, Dr Steve Odey from the senate, Wike says the entry of Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe into the senate was a good omen.
He said it was immoral for Odey, who has been enjoying Ayade’s supports all the way, to return to the court of appeal to seek a review of the court’s judgement.
“People must understand there is an end to litigation. This is a matter from my knowledge was a pre-election matter and went up to the tribunal. And I do know that the Court of Appeal tribunal sitting in Calabar sometime in July gave judgment declaring Hon Jarigbe as the senator- elect and therefore directed INEC to issue a certificate of return to him and that was carried out by the INEC.
“Surprisingly to us, the candidate of APC and the purported candidate of the PDP, Dr. Stephen Odey had to apply again to the Court of Appeal to review the judgment that the Court of Appeal had already given at the appeal tribunal.”