Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State has threatened to deal with the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio over Akpabio’s comment on South-South governors.
Wike said he will deal with Akpabio if he dared speak negatively about Rivers State again.
He added that the minister has no authority to talk about the state nor the 13 per cent derivation.
Akpabio had reacted to a statement by Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa who is the chairman of the Niger Delta governor’s forum where Okowa described as worrisome the running of the NDDC in over a year by an Interim Caretaker Committee, and now, an interim administrator.
Okowa had said the situation does not augur well for the people of the Niger Delta as an opportunity for all States to be represented as they ought to be represented in the board of the NDDC does not exist.
Akpabio had in response said that a new board of management for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) would be constituted after the on-going forensic audit of the commission is concluded.
He also declared that the governors have not right to issue instructions to the president on how the money meant for the commission should be spent.
He said: “I’m not aware that the governors are the ones that give a directive to the president. So if you are saying that the South-South governors just finished their meeting and gave directives to the president not to release funds, I want to let you know that we have pleaded with the governors, even when I was a governor to ensure that local government have elected executives. Some governors for eight years use caretaker committees to run local government and the federal government has not denied them their funds.”
However, speaking on Friday when he inaugurated the office complex built by his administration for the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Port Harcourt, Wike accused Akpabio of being behind a recent publication by militant groups asking the South-South to account for N55trn derivation money.
According to Wike, Akpabio carried himself like a god. He, however, wondered why he failed an ordinary senatorial election if he had performed as a Governor.
He said: “It is unfortunate I read what the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Akpabio said. I will tell him to talk less. We will tell him that when he was the governor he was acting like a king. There was money at that time. The exchange rate was N150 per dollar. Today, it is N500 for a dollar.
“Akpabio had money but he had the temerity to ask South-South governors what they are doing with 13 per cent derivation. Akpabio should not talk to Rivers State at all. He has no such authority. He is not qualified to talk to Rivers State.
“If he wants to talk he should concentrate in Akwa Ibom State or else we teach him a lesson here. Akpabio should know that enough is enough.
“If he should talk here I will teach him a lesson. I am not a sycophant and I am not an inconsistent person. I don’t give a damn. He cannot say he sees me in the villa.
“So, if he wants to talk let him concentrate on his state not to venture again talk about Rivers. If he does it again, he will regret it. I am not one of those governors he can turn around. I am not that kind of person. People should say what they practice.
“I will show you a video where the President said they should come and learn from me what we are doing here. People forget they just come out and talk anyhow”.
Wike said Akpabio failed to confirm from the South-South Governors the date that would be suitable for them for the commissioning of the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
“He (Akpabio) went and asked so-called South-South militants that we should render an account of N55trilion naira. Where did he get the N55trilion from?
“If we got N55trn then he got N200trn. You came to commission a project you can’t ask the governors when is suitable for them. Later they said they boycotted the programme. Boycotted what?
“You promised you were going to partner with me when we were doing the Eastern bypass but you ran away and now you are enjoying it. Akpabio be careful.
“Don’t go and pay money to people to type propaganda against governors. You will suffer for it at the end of the day.
“We know what Akpabio was doing as a Governor. He saw himself as god then. Now he has the temerity to insult South-South governors. We will meet one day. If he did well, why did he fail his senatorial election?
“You will finish from Abuja and you will come here. When you were begging governors to come and talk on your behalf. Now you are fighting us. I will abuse you back at the appropriate time. I am only making an introduction today. What I will do be prepared.
“Now you have gone to look for trouble, I will give you trouble. You will never sleep again. This is why Nigeria cannot move forward. You ran to the other party for protection.
“The same party that say they are fighting corruption. You can just say anything. Abuse governors. Don’t dare me”.