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I've overstayed as minister, says Wike

By The Citizen
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THE Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State cannot force President Goodluck Jonathan to sack him (Wike).

Wike, who referred to newspaper reports on Saturday, explained that the President would not succumb to pressures for him (Wike) to be removed as minister.

He said, 'No amount of condition anybody will give; you may have been reading in newspapers that they are giving conditions. Nobody can give Mr. President condition. You must have read in papers that they say they must remove me.

'I have even overstayed. So, if you can be minister for two years, you must thank your God. If today, you are no longer minister, don't worry yourself. It will not change us. We will continue to fight for what we believe in.

Speaking during the inauguration of executive members of the Grassroots Development Initiative in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area on Saturday, the minister, however, explained that he was not worried about losing his current ministerial position.

Wike, who made a veiled reference to the governor all through his speech, argued that it was not a mean feat to be a minister for two years.

Amaechi and Wike have been in a long drawn political battle since the crisis rocking the state began about four months ago.

He said 'We were not ministers when we fought for them in 2007. When we were here, they were not having problems. Now, we have gone, they are having problems. We have always told them that they cannot do it.

'What you don't know, you don't know. It does not matter whatever amount of money you have. Money cannot buy everything. Now, they are having sleepless night.

'When we were here, were they having sleepless night? When we were here, were they not travelling up and down? Now, are they travelling again,' Wike queried.

He called on the people of the state to continue to support President Goodluck Jonathan, describing him as a son and an in-law to the people of the state.

Appealing to the people of the state not to sell themselves for any amount of money, Wike urged members of the dissolved Obio/Akpor Council, including the councillors not to worry over their unpaid salaries, adding that such situation was the price they must pay for democracy.

'In Rivers State, Jonathan is our son, Jonathan is our in-law and his wife is our daughter. So, we have no choice, but to continue to support him. Your duty is to mobilise the entire state for our son when he decides to run eventually.

'We believe that the people of South-South cannot sacrifice whatever it is our own turn for anything less than the Presidency,' he said.

The minister, also condemned the attack on the lawmaker representing Obio/Akpor Constituency 2, Mr. Michael Chinda, promising that the lawmaker's assailant would not go free.

He said, 'Today is 3rd of August, 2013 and by the special grace of God, all those who are involved in shedding the blood of their son will never go free.

'If they like, let them carry the resources of the Rivers State, God will make sure that all those who conspire to attempt to kill our son will never go free. I will like to plead with you to be calm.

'Don't take the laws into your hand. Justice must prevail. I am aware that our son is in a hospital in London. But I believe it is God that heals. It is only God we rely upon that our son will come 'back healthy.'

On the call for the removal of the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu Joseph, the minister pointed out that the people were not interested in any particular person to be posted to the state as the commissioner of police.

According to him, the people want a police commissioner that will not be partial and allow democracy to be practised in the state.

He said, 'They say we are nobody. Now, they have seen that when you are dealing with nobody, you have to be careful because nobody will show you that he is somebody. We will make sure they will not sleep again. As they are sleeping, they will not sleep with their two eyes closed because they know there is danger.'

Earlier, the state Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Felix Obuah, restated his readiness to reconcile aggrieved members of the party, even as he invited the governor, ministers and other angry members of the PDP to a reconciliatory meeting.