Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has said that the claims by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State that the Federal Government printed about N60 billion to share to the federating units in March could not be regarded as spurious after all.
Governor Wike who stated this in Abuja on Sunday, therefore challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to unequivocally declare if money was printed or not so as to lay the matter to rest.
In a statement issued by Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant, Media, to Governor Wike, he disclosed that the Rivers State Governor threw the challenge while briefing journalists shortly after he attended the child dedication of Mr and Mrs Uche Nwosu in Abuja on Sunday.
“Obaseki was in APC, so he understands them. So, Obaseki couldn’t have come from the blues to say they printed N60 billion. He knows them,” Wike stressed.
Governor Wike added that it was regrettable that instead of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to address the issue raised by Governor Obaseki, the CBN boss opted to issue a veiled threat to states to pay back bailout loans given to them by the Federal Government.
“Instead of answering the question, he ( Emefiele) said governors have to pay back the bailout loan. The bailout is a loan; if you want to take it, go and take it. But answer the question whether money was printed or not printed,” Wike quipped.
The governor said his decision to attend Uche Nwosu’s (the son in law of former Imo State governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha) child dedication, was devoid of politics or political affiliation, explaining that his relationship with Senator Okorocha, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), started in 1999 when he (Wike) was the chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
“I’ve known him (Okorocha) since 1999 when I was chairman of council. I didn’t know him today, so I don’t because of politics or whatever it is, abandon people. It is my character to always keep my friendship with people. It is not based on party or politics. Friendship is friendship”, he asserted.
Governor Wike urged Senator Okorocha and his wife not to be dispirited by the political persecutions they are currently facing, adding that the kind of political battle they had been through would cause them to rely on God and not on their mortal strength.
He further enjoined Okorocha to consider joining hands with Nigerians who are determined to pull Nigeria from the brinks of economic collapse to the path of economic prosperity, just as he lauded Uche Nwosu and his wife, Uloma, for organising the praise and worship church service to dedicate their son to God.
Governor Wike explained that the reason why he had been able to survive several fierce political battles was because he had never stopped giving thanks to God, declaring that “Because of my thanksgiving they can never defeat me. The greatest Army is God.”
The founder of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, while commending the Nwosus for dedicating their child to God, maintained that whatever is dedicated to God shall never diminish.