Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has laid into the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, saying he has dumped his “ordinary khaki” for “safari with diamond buttons”.
Oshiomhole, who adopted the khaki since his days as president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Wike have been at daggers drawn since the Supreme Court replaced David Lyon, candidate of the APC in the Bayelsa governorship election with Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
After Oshiomhole had kicked against the ruling, Wike was among the PDP leaders who asked him to steer off the issue in Bayelsa.
Reacting, the embattled APC chairman described the Rivers governor as a “violent politician”, prompting Wike’s explosive response Saturday.
Speaking in a press conference in Port Harcourt, the governor said Oshiomhole ought to have accepted the supreme court ruling, “whether good or bad”.
“Oshiomhole cannot destabilise this country… who the hell is Oshiomhole to say that nobody can be sworn in when the Supreme Court has made a pronouncement?” he asked.
“Oshiomhole claimed he was a unionist. He said he worked in the textile industry. Mention one man who works in the textile industry and is as rich as Oshiomhole today. He used to wear ordinary Khaki, today he wears Safari with diamond buttons.”
Wike also called for the resignation of Oshiomhole, describing him as a “character that nobody should associate with”.
He said the APC chairman plunged the ruling party into needless crisis and does not have the support of many governors.
“Because of people like Oshiomhole and his style of leadership, his party lost so many areas they ought not to have lost. What made them not to have candidates in Rivers State and Zamfara, it’s because of Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole led to the problem they have in Bayelsa,” he said.
“Oshiomhole said he fought godfatherism and at the same time, he wants to install himself as a godfather in Edo State. Why is he fighting Obaseki because the man doesn’t take instructions from him? He (Oshiomhole) preaches what he doesn’t practice.
“He was taught a lesson in Rivers, a bitter lesson and I want to repeat, if you come to steal our mandate, the people will respond accordingly. They will oppose your stealing of their mandate. So, Oshiomhole thinks that because he is in the ruling party, nobody should say anything or do anything. You may be closer to the President and that is not the way to retain your position as Chairman of the party because Oshiomhole doesn’t have the support of most of the Governors because of his style of leadership.”
The governor said he stopped attending the national economic council meeting because Oshiomhole allegedly turned the forum into an avenue to bash former President Goodluck Jonathan, even when he had gone to praise Jonathan at Aso Rock for ensuring credible elections that made him governor of Edo at the time.
“When Jonathan left office, one of the reasons why I didn’t go to NEC meeting was because of Oshiomhole when he was a member. When Jonathan left, there was no day at the NEC meeting Oshiomhole would not bring Jonathan down,” he said.
“Meanwhile, this was the same man Oshiomhole went to praise for allowing ‘one man, one vote’. But when the man (Jonathan) left, Oshiomhole changed. That is his character.”