Wike, Dickson on warpath over political differences

Posted by News Express | 21 December 2019 | 1,002 times

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• Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike

The cold war between the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Seriake Dickson, came to public glare last week when Gov. Wike upbraided a prominent traditional ruler in the state, the Amanayagbo of Kalabari, His Majesty, King Theopilus J.T. Princewill, for hosting Gov. Dickson without recourse to him (Wike).

Gov. Dickson reportedly visited the traditional ruler on a solidarity visit to commiserate and identify with the monarch over the death of some youths of Abonnema during the presidential election.

The visit of Dickson did not go down well with Wike who thought his Bayelsa State counterpart would have informed him before coming to Rivers State.

Gov. Wike who spoke during a solidarity visit by the Kalabari people at the Government House in Port Harcourt, called on the Kalabari leaders to prevail on the Amanyanabo of Kalabari, King Princewill not to allow himself to be used by external forces to create disunity in the state.

Gov. Wike regretted that the Amanyanabo of Kalabari deliberately allowed Gov. Dickson to use him to promote divisiveness.

Wike said, “I want to publicly lay a complaint on the action of Amayanabo of Kalabari. The next time it happens, I will act as a governor.

“The Amanyanabo of Abonnema didn’t do it, he called me on phone when the Governor of Bayelsa, Dickson, tried to create problems in Rivers State.”

Wike said, “He said he was coming to see Ijaw people in Rivers State and he would be  hosted by the Amayanabo of Kalabari and Amayanabo of Abonnema.

“The Amanyanabo of Abonnema called me and said, “How can that be?” The Bayelsa State Governor did not call me. The Amanyanabo of Kalabari did not call me. What he did was to roll out drums to receive the Bayelsa State Governor.”

Gov. Wike, therefore, warned the Kalabari delegation that should the Amanyanabo of Kalabari take such illegal action in future, he would face sanctions.

He said, “That day I would have removed him, but I held myself. What they would do is to go to radio and abuse me. But I am used to insults. I am trying to complain to you people. You can see how people are trying to divide a state. A fellow governor would come from somewhere to create division.”

Wike reiterated that the Amanyanabo of Kalabari would face sanctions if he continued acts of division.

He added that, “If any of such things happen again, I will take the necessary action. I will not listen to any further excuse, that is why I am saying this publicly. Tell him to respect constituted authority. It is not good for anyone to come and divide Rivers State, because the state is one. It is unfortunate what my colleague did. I hand him over to God and pray for God to do his will.”

The cold war between Wike and his Bayelsa counterpart, Dickson, is said to be over some irreconcilable political differences.

The rivalry between the two political gladiators started in 2016 during the built up to the PDP national convention to elect national officers of the party. While Wike supported Uche Secondus, Dickson rooted for the party’s former National Deputy Chairman, Chief Olabode George. Wike had his way and Secondus clinched the party’s national chairmanship.

The rivalry between the two political gladiators started in 2016 during the built up to the PDP national convention to elect national officers of the party. While Wike supported Uche Secondus, Dickson rooted for the party’s former National Deputy Chairman, Chief Olabode George. Wike had his way and Secondus clinched the party’s national chairmanship.

The rivalry between the two politicians continued in 2018 during the party’s presidential primary. While Dickson was in support of a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Wike supported the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal. Atiku defeated Tambuwal to clinch the ticket.

In the just concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State, Wike was said to have rooted for the former President Goodluck Jonathan-backed candidate, Chief Timi Alaibe, while Dickson supported, Sen. Douye Diri, a member of his “Restoration Family”, who clinched the ticket.

Unconfirmed reports have it that Wike pleaded with Dickson to support Alaibe to clinch the party’s governorship but that his pleas were rebuffed by Dickson. Diri later lost the election to the APC candidate, Chief David Lyon

The relationship between Wike and Dickson further deteriorated over the true ownership of Kula/Soku oil wells. The oil wells were ceded to Bayelsa State and Wike accused Dickson of being responsible for the ceding of the oil wells.

However, respite came Gov. Wike’s way when a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ruled that Rivers State owned the disputed Soku oil wells/fields located in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

In a judgment in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/984/19,  the Attorney General of Rivers State versus the National Boundary Commission (NBC),  Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court declared that after examining all the documents from relevant government agencies and facts before the court, the Soku oil wells/fields belonged to Rivers State.

The Federal High Court made an order compelling NBC to rectify forthwith in the 12th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria the erroneous interstate boundary between Rivers State and Bayelsa State as contained in the extant 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria.

The court declared that the continued failure and refusal of NBC to rectify the admitted mistake in the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria since 2002 which erroneously showed St. Batholomew River instead of River Santa Barbara as the interstate boundary between Rivers State and Bayelsa State was a breach of its statutory duty and a flagrant disobedience of the order of the Supreme Court contained in its judgment delivered on July, 2012, in Suit SC. 106 /2009.

Justice Ekwo declared that the continued reliance on the said defective 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria by the other government agencies/statutory bodies, especially the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), in the computation of revenue accruable to Rivers State from the Federation Account had resulted in the continued unjust denial of derivation funds accruing from the Soku oil wells/fields situated within Rivers State to the detriment of the state government.

The court also ordered that pending the formality of compliance by NBC deeming the administrative boundary between Rivers State and Bayelsa State to be River Santa Barbara in accordance with the admission of the NBC as per a letter of July 3, 2002, and the definitive order of the Supreme Court made on July 10, 2012.

Justice Ekwo granted the two reliefs and directed that notice be served of the decision of the court on RAMFC and AGF.

The court further said NBC could not unilaterally delineate boundaries between Rivers State and Bayelsa State after the Supreme Court judgment on the matter and also dismissed an objection to the suit raised by NBC, which it said lacked in merit.

Following the failure of NBC to obey the Supreme Court judgment on the Soku oil wells, the Attorney General of Rivers State filed an originating summons at the Fedetal High Court in Abuja through Suit FHC/ABJ/CS/984/19 to ensure the enforcement of the declarative judgment.

Reactions have continued to trail the cold war between the two notable politicians.

Ijaw groups have demanded an apology from Wike of Rivers over his  threat to sanction a Kalabari monarch.

The groups consist of Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF), Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA) and the Ijaw Nation Forum (INF).

In a statement jointly signed by Chief Atamuno Atamuno (Vice-Chairman IEF); Maj. Gen. Paul Alaowei Toun (Rtd) – Chairman Board of Trustees IPA;  and Ben Amaebi Okoro (Moderator INF), they expressed shock at Wike’s utterances.

They said, “We have watched with dismay a video clip showing the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, berating and denigrating the revered stool of the Amayanabo of Kalabari, King Theophilus J.T. Princewill, with threats of removal over the visit of the Governor of Bayelsa State to the Kalabari monarch.

“Gov. Wike’s threat to the Amayanabo of Kalabari is totally unacceptable, divisive and capable of causing unnecessary division and unnecessary tension in Rivers State. “This coalition of Ijaw Elders Forum, Lagos, Ijaw Professionals, as well as the Ijaw Nation Forum, condemns in very strong terms this disrespect of the respected traditional institution.”

Soku Council of Chiefs, elders and leaders on their part, have commended Wike for his dogged struggle that led to the Federal High Court judgment that returned the Soku oil wells/fields to the state.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday, the Chairman of Soku Council of Chiefs, Chief Telema Imoh, said, “We the Council of Chief, Elders, CDC, Youth, Women and entire people of Soku Community in Kalabari-Ijwa ethnic nationality in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State do hereby express our immense thanks to God Almighty for life on the victory surrounding the disputes of Soku land, oil wells/fields and associated rights.

“We thank the Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Chief. Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON, GSSRS, POS (JP), for his doggedness in securing the return of the illegally ceded Soku oil wells/fields to Rivers State.

We appreciate and identify with his developmental strides in the state.” The group added that, “The whole issue of recent started with the illegal ceding of Soku oil wells/fields from Rivers State to Bayelsa State; with the issuance of the defective administrative map (11th edition) wherein the age-long interstate boundary line was unilaterally shifted from Santa Barbara River to St. Bartholomew in favour of Bayelsa State by the National Boundary Commission (NBC).”

They, therefore, pledged loyalty and support to the governor and also urged their Kalabari brothers and the Ijaw to also support him. (Daily Trust)

 

 



Source: News Express

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