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Wike is immature, give him a lollipop, Abati blasts Rivers State governor


Wike is immature, give him a lollipop, Abati blasts Rivers State governor

Not a few people say that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, looked for trouble. If so, he got it back in full dose.

Dr Reuben Abati, accomplished and celebrated journalist, academic, lawyer, TV personality, was unsparing.

Trouble began when an ARISE Television team, in their popular daily  Morning Show, hosted Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to an interview.

Atiku had beaten Wike, a Presidential aspirant, to the PDP ticket. That shocked Wike who had boasted before the Primary that he was already the candidate. But worse tiding was in  stock for him.

He had expected to be Atiku’s running mate, especially, as he was one of the three shortlisted candidates by a 17-man Committee, set up to screen a possible running mate for the candidate. The Committee, headed by Wike’s close ally, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, recommended three possibles – Wike, Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

Even though Ortom said Wike got 14 votes out of 17, Atiku by-passed him and picked Okowa.

Since then, Wike and his camp have been indifferent to the Party’s activities. He has been busy playing host to Presidential candidates and Party big wigs from other Political parties, including the APC, fueling speculations of a possible defection to another party.

On Sunday, he held a meeting with members of his camp, who include four Governors, a couple of former-Governors and some PDP chieftains. Professor Jerry Gana, who spoke on their behalf said the team remained in tact, and would be heard from.

When Atiku appeared before the ARISE TV Team, he was asked why he picked Okowa instead of Wike. His answer was simple. He said it was not like he rejected Wike, but that he picked who he could work with amicably, and who would be a President-in-waiting.

Stung, Wike labeled Atiku a liar, and vowed to expose what he called recent events in the PDP. He said Atiku lied during the ARISE TV interview. Then, he singled Abati out for not asking Atiku the appropriate questions.

In an unprecedented response on Monday during the Morning Show, Abati told Wike what not a few PDP chieftains have been saying of Wike behind him.

According to Abati, the PDP is to be blamed for

“Giving the Party over to one man who developed a sense of delusion, a sense of exaggerated importance, who thought he could lord it over other members of the Party.

“Now they have had a meeting yesterday, Prof. Jerry Gana, who is one of the founding fathers of the Party, says ‘we are one’.

“Well, that contradicts what Nyesom Wike himself pointed out in the interview he granted at the Port Harcourt International Airport when he returned from a trip.

“He said that he will talk more. What is he going to say?  In his 15 minutes of rambling protest, he said Abubakar Atiku lied in an interview he had with ARISE TV.

“Two of the interviewers are here. At the end of the day he did not debunk the lies that he imagined. I am not defending the Atiku camp, it is not my job, I am a journalist.

“Now what did Atiku say that he addressed, concretely, other than to say Atiku lied. Atiku said he was given a short list and he chose from the short list imposed on him and that it was his prerogative to choose his own running mate. How is that a problem?

“You ask the question, what does Wike actually want?

“The other day when we discussed this issue, I said Wike is throwing tantrums. They should give him lolly pop.

“The major take away from that his interview at the Airport is that nobody has brought the lolly pop to him. So what is that lolly pop that he wants? I said when a child is crying you pet him and give him sweets to lick. Give him lolly pop let him lick it.

“However, the most important thing and point I have seen is the statement made by former Jigawa State Governor and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who says the Party is supreme and that Governor Nyesom Wike should follow the example of the likes of former Governor Peter Odili, the examples of Rotimi Amaechi, the example of Vice President of Nigeria today, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and others.

“The Senate President, Dr.Ahmad Lawan who in failing to get the ticket has shown greater maturity.  Then you have an individual in one Political Party just distracting everybody’s attention with his own immaturity. And in that interview, Governor Wike was trying to teach journalism. He even singled me out.

“Well Governor Wike is not in the position to teach Reuben Abati Journalism. He calls it Investigative Journalism, because we went to do an interview.

“I put it to him that we asked all the right questions, and I have been in this media space , and I have been writing for the Nigeria Press since 1985.

“I don’t know where Governor Wike was at that time. And I have been on Television every day  since the year 2000, thanks to Prof. Pat Utomi, former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Prince Nduka Obaigbena.

“Governor Wike does not have the capacity, or the intellect to teach me, Reuben Abati, journalism. If he wants to study my body of work over several  decades behind me, he will spend more than a year just to figure out the amount of work that I have done. But I think it is important for him to moderate his anger and allow Nigerians to focus on serious issues rather than this self-promotion, throwing of  tantrums all over the place. And he should look at the examples of what people are doing in other jurisdictions when they are talking about ideas. We will like to engage him at the level of ideas, not at the level of his emotional choices.

“So people should not think because they are in the Government and because they have a platform so they have the right to misbehave in the public domain. Because, indeed, there are persons who are now saying: what exactly does Governor Wike wants? And how far does he want go?

If he is tired of the PDP, he has the option of going to another Political Party, doesn’t he? It is within his right to do so.”

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