Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said his principal chose to ignore the “combative, truculent, if not at times insulting” disposition of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
The spokesperson said the President would have dealt with Wike and former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, for their “anti-Buhari tendency” but he chose to tolerate the duo as a father of the nation.
Wike, who belonged to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, had recently appreciated the President for approving the refund of N78.9bn to Rivers for the repair of federal roads. A total sum of N148bn had been approved by the Federal Executive Council to five states including Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ondo, and Osun.
In a piece published on Friday on his website and entitled, ‘Wike Vindicates Buharists’, Adesina described the recent action of Governor Wike as one that was in a “completely different direction compared to what he had always said of President Muhammadu Buhari”.
Adesina wrote, “The Wike we knew was either usually crying wolf where there was none, alleging that the Federal Government wanted to kill him, or claiming that he was not answerable to the central government at Abuja in any way, or even pontificating that the President and his political party, the All Progressives Congress had failed the country in diverse ways.
“If not for the maturity, and the avuncular attitude of President Buhari to all state governors, it would have been easy for one to conclude that he and Wike were enemies. Forsworn ones.
“There was also the then Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who had formed a tag team with Wike in the anti-Buhari tendency. The President could have dealt with them in many ways, either overtly or covertly, but he let them be. He was a father ready to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities, and predilections.”
On the invitation extended by the Rivers governor for the President to visit the state to see what the money was used for, the President’s spokesperson said, “In January 2018, there had been vicious killings in some parts of the country. States affected were; Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Yobe, Rivers, and Zamfara. The President decided to embark on sympathy and solidarity visits to the states. All the Governors were receptive, except Wike, who said the visit was a smokescreen, meant to revive the dying APC in Rivers State.
“When about 20 people were killed on New Year Day 2018, in Omoku area of the state and the President wanted to visit, Wike demurred. He said there were killings every day all over the country, and it meant the President must visit every State on a daily basis.
“The circle has turned fully round, and Governor Wike is inviting the President to visit. He says he’s “a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.” Wonderful!
“Some people say it is N78.9 billion that is working, and the Governor is clearly inebriated by that windfall. But I don’t think so. Rivers is by no means a poor state. The amount is handsome, no doubt, but the state is oil-rich and can hold her own when it comes to finances. I rather choose to believe that Governor Wike had been playing a curious kind of politics all along, and now, fairness and justice have touched him in a positive way.”