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Wike Soft-Pedals: Asks For Forgiveness, Sues For Peace, Unity

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Nyesom Wike, may have soft-pedaled his uncompromising stance on the ongoing imbroglio with his estranged political son and Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Siminayi Fubara, as he is now suing for peace and unity.

Wike, the erstwhile governor of the state, who had displayed a tough stance and readiness to engage his successor in a stiff battle despite the intervention of President Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, told his loyalists that he is bound by the Abuja peace deal and asked for forgiveness for mistakes he may have made in his decisions.

This has taken Nigerians by surprise, as the minister, just on Saturday, was flexing muscles, when he spoke of a fight for political dominance of the state, apparently in reference to the disagreement with Fubara.

Speaking when he visited a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Victor Giadom, in Bera, Gokana LGA of Rivers, he said, “Forget about these hungry noisemakers on the road. When the time comes, we will know who is in charge and who is not in charge.”

However, speaking at a New Year reception he hosted in Port Harcourt on Sunday, which was attended by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as serving and former political office holders, particularly members of the National Assembly and the Rivers State House of Assembly, Wike said the president has called for peace in the state and “there is no way, I can disobey Mr. President.

“We may not be happy with all his decisions, but you owe it a duty, if Mr. President calls for peace, who are you to say you don’t want peace.

“I will always obey Mr. President and I will do everything humanly possible to see that his peace arrangement is achieved in Rivers. That is what is required and I am going to do that.

Pleading for the forgiveness of his followers, who may be aggrieved over his decisions, he said, “Yes, I cannot say I am perfect and that every decision I take I am right. No. I’m human. I may make a decision that may not be palatable to everybody, but by my position, I influenced you to accept it, and you accept it and it turns out to be bad. Forgive me.

“I say forgive me, because, yes, my judgment may have failed, but I own up to say forgive me. Let us move forward in the interest of the state. That is what is important.

“The way I took the decision, which you may not have been happy, but you listened to me, I want to also appeal with you, listen to me now and accept what Mr. President has said. It is for the interest of Rivers State and for Nigeria in general. That is what I want to tell you all the time.

“It may not be the best, but you have no option but to accept it, and I can assure you like so many people have said here, to give me Minister of FCT, the president took a lot of risk. People protested to him, but he stood firm and said, look, I want the best for this place. So, if he could do that, we should give him”, he stated.

The minister expressed gratitude to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, for swiftly implementing the Abuja peace deal, noting that within 48 hours after the parley with Tinubu, the speaker and his members decided to obey Mr. President, without attaching any condition, thanking them “for respecting Mr. President.”

According to him “It may not have been the best, but we must respect him and that is the only way this country can move forward. So, my dear brothers and sisters, whether you are APC, whether you are PDP, President does not belong to any of the parties, and as an ordinary Nigerian or businessman, you have a duty to give Mr. President support to move this country forward.”

Restating the reason for peace in the state, he said, “put everybody together and don’t allow this state to be engulfed in crisis. The politics we are playing in this state is politics of unity in Rivers State and not of any particular party.”

To buttress this, he added that when he visited the South-South Zonal Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Victor Giadom, on Saturday, he went with all PDP leaders and that Giadom did the same on Sunday, when he attended the Port Harcourt reception with leaders of his party, adding that, “All we are talking about is how Rivers State will move forward.”

In response to those who say he was betrayed by Fubara after he worked for his emergence as his successor, he said the president had told him during a meeting that “politics and betrayal are the same mother and father. If you don’t want to be betrayed, don’t enter into politics.

“So, don’t be bothered that anybody betrayed you. Prepare yourself that it will happen. I am fully prepared, because I know. That is what President Tinubu taught me.

Wike also denied the allegation that he betrayed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), during the last general elections, when the G5, made up of himself and four governors of the party openly conversed support for candidates other than that of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, adding that he has no apologies.

“I never betrayed PDP, G5 never betrayed PDP. We stood firm. We told Nigerians, we will not do this, if this is not done. So the issue of betrayal does not come in. We said look, do this and do this and if you don’t do this, it means that we are not part of this country, and we stood firm.

“I owe no apologies to nobody and my colleagues owe no apologies to anybody. We stood firm and that is why there is stability today in this country”, the minister added.

According to him, the loss by three of three members of the group, former Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom, in their Senatorial bid was a sacrifice.

“It is the sacrifice that they will pay. You must make sacrifices for the development of your country”, he said.

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