Buhari vs Wike: President Mohammadu Buhari, on Friday, said he instructed the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to ensure that the September 19 governorship election in Edo State was free and fair.
The president stated this when Governor Godwin Obaseki, accompanied by his deputy, Philip Shaibu and the governor’s wife, Betty, as well as the wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Shaibu, paid him a thank you visit at the Presidential Villa.
Obaseki, who dumped the All Progressives Congres (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the party disqualified him from participating in APC’s governorship primaries in June, was re-elected on September 19.
Buhari told Obaseki: “I thank you for bringing your deputy and supporters to come and see me after beating my party. I am supposed to preside over all Nigerian interests whether I like it or not, but my single desire is to make sure that innocent people don’t suffer.
“That message I got across to the Inspector General of Police was that elections must be free and fair.
“If contestants have too much money and they decide to spray, so be it. But what I insist is, nobody should go and raise a counter force to the government, arm heavily-drugged thugs to go and humiliate people.”
The President said he wanted democracy to thrive on the platform of credible polls, and added jocularly that he was congratulating the Edo governor ‘reluctantly’ because he defeated the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress.
But Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, ordered him to leave Edo State on the eve of the September 19 governorship election.
Wike said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Friday.
According to the governor, who was the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship campaign, the IGP called him on the telephone and ordered him to leave Edo immediately but that the police boss could not respond when he asked why Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, members of All Progressives Congress, were allowed to remain in the state.
He said, “The IG never saw me outside. I was inside my room and I got a call from the IG that I must leave Edo State. What surprised me was why should I leave Edo State? I am the chairman of the campaign council and the chairman does not mean that after the campaign, you leave. No, you must monitor what is going on so that at the end of the day, you would be able to write your report.”
Adding some extra to it, Wike says, “When our sister, Joi Nunieh (the former NDDC Acting MD), was to be abducted, IG was not happy about my intervention.
“He called me and I asked him how could you allow a woman to be taken away at 4:00am knowing the security situation in the country today? Why didn’t you invite her?”
Wike said he does not regret his action because the police were wrong to have attempted to arrest Nunieh the day she was to give evidence at the National Assembly.
Advicing whilst on Channels, Nyesom Wike, says Obaseki is free to return to the APC if he feels the PDP is not working for him.
Wike, however, said the Edo State governor must never forget that he was given an umbrella when he was left in the rain.
When asked what he would do if Obaseki left the PDP, Wike said, “I don’t want to discuss something that is not going to be possible. However, assuming it happens, so what? That is politics.
“If the governor believes that the PDP is no longer a party for him to actualise his vision and his mission, there is nothing wrong but I don’t believe that it is going to happen because the governor has consistently told us that there is no way he will leave the PDP. If he leaves the PDP, people in Edo State will not be happy.
“And he is somebody I have that trust in that he will not leave the party. This is a party that clothed him. This is a party that when it was raining, gave him an umbrella.”
Wike said he did not play such a big role in Obaseki’s re-election but only acted as the chairman of the campaign council.
He said he merely supervised the campaign, presented strategies and gave guidance.
The governor said it would be wrong of anyone to give him the glory when others like Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, played their roles.
Wike stated that he did not fund Obaseki’s campaign because the governor already had enough money to execute his campaign.
“What resources could I have deployed? He is a sitting governor. What resources can I give him that he does not have?” he asked.