Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State returned fire at Clement Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, after the latter accused state governors of enhancing poverty in Nigeria on Wednesday, 30th November. Wike charged that Agba was unaware of how governors address development in their individual states.
In a related event, the Edo State government declared that it was not among the states Agba was referencing as having promoted poverty in the country by launching initiatives unfavourable to the people.
During the inauguration of Rumuodogo 1 and 2 roads in Oluua Rumuodogo, Emohua LGA of the state, yesterday, Thursday, December 1st, Wike criticised Agba for claiming that governors were to blame for the problem of poverty since they concentrated on developing flyovers, airports, and other projects in state capitals while neglecting to make investments in rural regions to directly raise the standard of life of the populace.
Wike said: “He (Agba) said governors are the problem, they don’t do rural roads. I ask him, where and where have you been.”
“You just sit there (Abuja), you’ve not been anywhere to check whether rural roads are being done or not.”
“Come to Rivers and see whether we are doing roads that will cause agricultural produce to be brought out to the cities or not before you open your mouth. We are not doing roads in the city alone. We are doing roads in all local government areas of the state.”
On fellow South-South states governors allegedly hiding behind perceived attack dogs to insult him, Wike said: “Some people have been sending their people to insult me. I laugh. I hear some people, they call them Akwa Ibom professionals, they were insulting me.”
“Tell the man who sent you to come out. You are just small kids. I am waiting for the big masquerade. Some people said they are Ijaw professionals. You that is sending them, come out. It is you I am looking for, I am not looking for these small fries.”
Wondering why fellow South-South governors felt offended by his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari over the release of withheld 13 percent derivation, Wike said: “If they’re not prepared for governance, give up. I am prepared for governance. I was prepared, I’m still prepared, I will be prepared till I leave.”
“How can people talk, simply because I said thank Buhari for giving us money? I am not a fan of Buhari. All of you know that I am not one of those they like. I am not one of those who go to Abuja to see them, but the truth must be told.”
“When somebody has done well in an aspect, you say he has done well in this aspect. You cannot change it.”
“Let me tell those making noises, whether you’re a governor I don’t care. When I came to run as governor of Rivers State, there was no governor that said I want to put you in office as a governor. I came on my own. God said I want to use you. There was a sitting governor, we defeated the sitting governor.”
“Some governors were brought by their godfathers, I never had any godfather that brought me as a governor. The only godfather I had was God and the people of Rivers State.”
“So, when some governors are talking, they should know those they are talking to, we are not at the same level and we can’t be at the same level.”
Wike also said Rivers State spent over N5 billion to recover the Yenagoa, Bayelsa campus of the Nigerian Law School, while the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus in Port Harcourt was completed within 10 months.