Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has refuted a recent report where he was quoted as saying that the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would not see the gate of the Presidency in 2023.
In a statement yesterday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor insisted that he did not mention Tinubu’s name while fielding questions from journalists during his visit to Adamawa State earlier in the week, adding that irrespective of political affiliation, he has enormous respect for the APC chieftain.
The statement read: “The attention of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has been drawn to false assertions attributed to him in an article written in The Guardian by Emmanuel Ande on February 5, 2021, titled: ‘Tinubu cannot see presidency gate in 2023, says Wike.’
“We wish to affirm that it is true that Governor Wike was in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, on February 4, to inspect some projects being executed by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. And while inspecting the Greater Interchange and Underpass in Yola, some journalists requested for an interview, which he graciously obliged them.
“The questions asked ranged from the purpose of his visit; the prospects of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winning the 2023 general election and Nigeria’s rating in the global corruption index recently published by Transparency International.
“At no time during the interview session that lasted about five minutes did Governor Wike mention the names of Chief Tinubu and the APC’s former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole or even alluded to them.
“We, therefore, consider the report by Mr Emmanuel Ande as preposterous, fabricated, malicious and intended to inflame relationship between Governor Wike and Chief Tinubu, whom the Rivers Chief Executive holds in high esteem.
“We wish to state without equivocation that irrespective of political affiliation, Governor Wike has enormous respect for Chief Tinubu and will never say or do anything to malign the hard earned reputation of the elder statesman. The report by Mr Ande is mischievous and aimed to discredit The Guardian.
“It is our belief that the reporter is probably acting as hireling of some treacherous political actors, who often capitalise on the susceptibility of some journalists to manipulate them to publish misleading or factually incorrect information for political purposes. We dare the reporter to provide any evidence to prove the veracity of his fabricated report.”