. Clears air over Rivers debt profile, denies obtaining any foreign debt
. Backs Ayu’s suspension
By Steve Oko
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that he is not afraid of any invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, or appearing before any anti-graft agency to give an account of his stewardship when his tenure expires on May 29.
Wike who stated this while featuring on a live television interview on Monday, also said that he would not sneak out of the country nor leave office a day before the expiration of his tenure, saying he committed no crime to warrant such a cowardly act.
When asked if he was bothered about the statement credited to EFCC that some Governors were under the watchlist of the anti-graft agency, Wike said he had no cause to live in dread of EFCC.
” I’m not afraid of EFCC. Why should I be afraid of it? If they invite me I will answer them. I won’t run away a day before my tenure expires”.
Wike also cleared the air on the alleged over N200 billion debt profile of Rivers State, saying he did not know where the claims are coming from.
The Governor said his administration did not leave any loan unpaid except the loan collected from Access and Zenith banks which, according to him are less than N7 billion put together.
He explained that both debts would be liquidated by June, 2023.
” I have never collected any foreign loan I’m owing only two banks – Access and Zenith banks. By June it will be liquidated.”
Wike declared his support for the suspension of the National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu by his Ward leadership in Benue State.
He said that Ayu led the PDP to a collosal failure at the just -concluded general elections, and ought to have voluntarily resigned.
” Ayu has failed woefully. He led PDP to a collosal failure and should have resigned without waiting to be suspended.
” A man who lost his Ward and state has no business presiding over the affairs of PDP. Now you have lost Benue State, if other states had also been lost which state will you been presiding over?
” We can’t allow PDP to be in the hands of those who have no state in it. I will support those who suspended him”, Wike thundered.
Wike further said that Ayu had been accused of double loyalty following his claims before the election that he was close to both the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; as well as the PDP flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.
“Before the election, Ayu said he was close to both Tinubu and Atiku. So, it means that whosoever that wins, he is comfortable” .
The Rivers State Governor and Leader of the G-5 Governors also alleged that Ayu was only after his stomach and never cared about the future of PDP.
” Ayu as PDP National Chairman was only interested in amassing wealth. They were only after what they can acquire. I have challenged him before, and I still do it again: let him deny that he collected money from a certain Governor in Lagos,”
Wike also accused the Ayu -led national leadership of the PDP of jettisoning zoning contained in the party constitution because of selfish interests.
Asked why he worked against the interest of the party and still blamed Ayu for the PDP’s poor outing at the polls, Wike said he only worked for the unity of Nigeria, saying he prefers the country’s unity to PDP victory.
He said he had never hidden his opposition to a Northern President in 2023, arguing that justice and equity demanded that power should naturally rotate back to the South as President Muhammadu Buhari, a Northerner would be completing his eight-year tenure in 2023.
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