The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, on Friday says relationship that President Muhammadu Buhari has with some of the governors, especially those who belong to opposition party as father and his many children.
Citing Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, who “had formed a tag team in the anti-Buhari tendency,” Adesina said: “He (Buhari) was a father ready to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities and predilections.”
“The President could have dealt with them in many ways, either overtly or covertly, but he let them be.”
Adesina said on his Facebook wall in reaction to a newspaper advertisement this week in which Wike spoke glowingly about Buhari following some favours to his state.
Adesina in the statement entitled WIKE VINDICATES BUHARISTS, said: “It came like a bolt out of the blue. Early this week, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, issued an advertisement, which went in a completely different direction compared to what he had always said of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Wike we knew was either usually crying wolf where there was none, alleging that the Federal Government wanted to kill him, or claiming that he was not answerable to the central government at Abuja in any way, or even pontificating that the President and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), had failed the country in diverse ways.
If not for the maturity, and the avuncular attitude of President Buhari to all state governors, it would have been easy for one to conclude that he and Wike were enemies; forsworn ones.
“There was also the then Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who had formed a tag team with Wike in the anti-Buhari tendency. The President could have dealt with them in many ways, either overtly or covertly, but he let them be.
“He was a father ready to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities and predilections.
“A couple of weeks back, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), of which President Buhari is the Chairman, had approved the refund of N148 billion to five states in the country for repair of Federal roads. They included Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ondo and Osun.
“Of the five states, only Ondo and Osun belong to the APC. The other three are of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Rivers, under Wike, was particularly combative, truculent, if not at times insulting.
“But the President did not let that influence his decision. He did what was right, fair and just, irrespective of party affiliations, or personal inclinations.
“Rivers State got the highest figure of N78.9 billion, and I remember some people asking me why the President should give such money to a governor who would call him names the next day.
“But that was where Wike surprised everybody. Last Monday, he issued newspaper advertisements with the title, ‘Thank You Our Dear President.’
“Dear President. False? True. Was it the Printer’s Devil? Not so. The Governor boldly appended his signature to the document.
“He thanked the President for approving the refund, noting: “Mr President has by this remarkable and heart-warming gesture shown not only your love for the Government and people of Rivers State, but also, demonstrated expressly that you are, indeed, a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.”
“False? True. Printer’s Devil? Not so.
“The Governor went on: ‘I assure you that the Rivers State Government is willing and ever ready to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government to advance the developmental aspirations of Rivers State in particular and our nation in general.’
“On seeing the above, I am sure millions of people must have cleaned their eyes, wondering if they were reading correctly.
“Having satisfied themselves that there were no cataracts, they went ahead: ‘I wish to, therefore, appeal to Mr President to kindly oblige us a state visit when invited, to see what we have accomplished for the state and our people with the money.’
“Wike, inviting President Buhari on a state visit. False? True. Printer’s Devil? Not so. He meant every word of it, and therefore appended his signature.
“Many times, I had responded as spokesman to the President, to wolf cries by the Rivers State Governor. At a point, I began to ignore such cries, just as I did to Fayose before him. Mr President simply took all the wild allegations in his strides, and continued working for the country, all parts of the country.
“In January 2018, there had been vicious killings in some parts of the country. States affected were; Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara. The President decided to embark on sympathy and solidarity visits to the states. All the Governors were receptive, except Wike, who said the visit was a smokescreen, meant to revive the dying APC in Rivers State.
“Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers State. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up,’ he had said.
“Again, he declared at another time, talking of the President: ‘We are the only state that the Federal Government refused to pay us our money used to execute Federal projects, because I don’t go to see him in the night, and I won’t go. He is not my friend; he is not doing well…’
“When about 20 people were killed on New Year Day 2018, in Omoku area of the state, and the President wanted to visit, Wike demurred. He said there were killings everyday all over the country, and it meant the President must visit every state on a daily basis.