• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Wike’s ally, Okocha, reacts to Afenifere’s ‘hot air’

Fubara

…says Tinubu knows FCT Minister’s factor to his victory

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tony Okocha, has deflated the blows thrown at the FCT Minister by a group calling itself the Afenifere Progressives Youth Movement (APYM).

The group had blasted the former governor of Rivers State, accusing him of being ungrateful to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The group also wrote all what Wike did to help Tinubu win, saying the president never mentioned Wike’s name in his inaugural speech when mentioning those that made him president, but rather said Tinubu merely helped Wike with the appointment of FCT Minister.

The group accused Wike of injuring the political fortunes of the president by stoking crisis in Rivers State always and causing some ripples in Abuja instead of adding value to Tinubu’s national acceptability, according to a statement credited to Abe Emmanuel Kola, said to be the head of the Lagos group.

Reacting in a message to BusinessDay, Okocha, who is also the Rivers State Representative to the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the talk did not warrant his attention especially when on a burial event outside Rivers State.

He however, explained thus: “I don’t find any rationale or merit in responding to a group that is omniscient and omnipresent.

“They are in Lagos and know everything. I will not patronise or dignify their shenanigan. President Tinubu knows the issues and what played out in Rivers State.

“Apart from him, I am the most qualified to speak on Tinubu’s electoral victory in a state perpetually betrothed to the PDP. Wike was the spin doctor.”

He made it clear that Wike’s contributions to Tinubu’s electoral victory transcended above Rivers State. “It is a fact in the mouths of even babes and the suckling.”

The Afenifere group spoke in Lagos at a press conference where Kola said it was preposterous for Wike to lay claim to a mandate he allegedly didn’t contribute to.

According to Kola, the former governor is not only an ingrate but a liability to the current administration.

The youths, therefore, advised Wike to focus on his job and tread cautiously in his public conduct and misleading narrative.

Claiming to put issues in proper perspective for all and to caution the FCT Minister on his public utterances about the electoral victory of President Tinubu, the Afenifere group stated: “The fact remains that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a political warrior and strategist who built bridges across the nooks and crannies of the country. He has remained relevant in the political landscape since leaving office as governor of Lagos state in 2007.

“This brings to mind the numerous efforts of the President and his associates of like minds who worked tirelessly for the President’s electoral victory during the elections that culminated in a resounding victory.

“The Afenifere Progressive Youths Movement is aware of the contributions of various stakeholders. The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, does not stand in as one of those who contributed to the President’s electoral success.

“That President Bola Ahmed Tinubu elected to bring the FCT Minister on board, his administration should not be misconstrued as rewarding him for working towards his electoral success, but rather a form of lifeline given the precarious situation Wike found himself after his tenure as governor of Rivers state.”

Kola said the statement of fact can be easily corroborated by stakeholders in the APC and other support groups that worked tirelessly during the elections to deliver victory to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“It is, therefore, preposterous for Nyesom Wike to lay claim to a mandate he didn’t contribute to. His public posturing is misguided and an affront to the sensibilities of those who worked tirelessly for the President’s electoral victory.

“If we recall the election victory acceptance speech by the President, where he commended those who worked hard for the victory, the name Nyesom Wike was not mentioned. That is indicative of the fact that the role the FCT Minister claimed he played in the electoral victory of the President remains a figment of his imagination.

“The FCT minister is aware of this much and why he should tread cautiously in his public conduct and his misleading narrative that defeats common sense.”

Afenifere said the FCT minister, by all indications, is a liability to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration with the crisis rocking Rivers State and other unpleasant occurrences connected to the FCT minister. The group cautioned Wike to stop the posturing.

“The task before President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is onerous, and the President and his team of patriotic Nigerians have been working around the clock to address the myriad of challenges in the country.

“The best the FCT Minister can do is to retrace his steps and be circumspect in his public posturing. He should focus on the job and key into the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President instead of ascribing to himself the President’s political success.

 

“It is not a hidden secret that the FCT Minister is a liability to the present administration, and it would be common sense if he turned a new leaf and channeled his energies towards serving our indefatigable President for magnanimously saving him from political obscurity.”

He went on: “The FCT Minister cannot take credit for what he didn’t give. It is tantamount to ingratitude. This is uncharitable and will be resisted by the Afenifere Progressive Youths Movement.

“It would be in the best interest of the FCT Minister to desist from such enterprise and channel his energies to more productive ventures in service to Nigeria,” the statement added.

Though the Wike ally did not want to be drawn into arguments with those he said he did not know, in the past, Okocha had explained the criticality of the Wike factor in the Tinubu victory.

On the day he explained why Wike should be Tinubu’s only point man in Rivers State and that the shares of Rivers APC should be given to him (Wike) to distribute, Okocha had shown how the APC had never won any election in Rivers State till Wike worked for Tinubu.

He had also shown that Wike boasted to stop Atiku and did it. He also said Atiku and the PDP did not win in any of the five states led by Wike that were called the G-5, saying if those states had voted for Atiku, that Tinubu would have lost, going by the slim victory with which Tinubu clinched the presidency. Okocha insisted that Wike must be in any room where Nigeria was discussed in the Tinubu presidency.