The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says the presidential pardon for persons prosecuted on corruption charges by the Federal Government only suggests that there is no need to have anti-corruption agencies in the country.
He believes the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have been made to suffer an embarrassment as the pardon has made them irrelevant.
The governor stated this on Monday while addressing delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano State, as part of his ongoing consultation ahead of the party’s presidential primary.
He was reacting to the pardon granted to former governors Jolly Nyame of Taraba State and Joshua Dariye of Plateau State by the Council of State last week.
“This is the same government that complained against the judiciary that it is not fighting against corruption,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri. “Now, look at what the judges have passed through; sleepless nights from the FCT High Court to the Court of Appeal to Supreme Court, everything is wasted.
“If President Muhammadu Buhari knows that he doesn’t want to fight corruption, then, he should disband EFCC and ICPC because he has thoroughly embarrassed them.
“So, all these things he (Buhari) is doing is because of the election coming soon. They want this person in Plateau State to help them and they want this person in Taraba State to help them, but it will not work because Wike will face them in that election.”
Governor Wike also dismissed the defence put up by the President’s spokesman on why the pardon should not be faulted.
Rather, he said it should be a thing to worry about because the same people who said they were fighting corruption were going through the back to release the same people whom they claimed were corrupt.
“So, when his pressman said I was invited to the Council of State, is it because I’m not there, that is why they did what they did? the governor asked. “If you wanted me to contribute, you would have sent me the agenda. Then, I would have known what I’m coming to do in the meeting.
“It’s not when you don’t send me agenda, I come, then you boxed us in, ambushed us, then you said I attended the meeting where they approved it. I will not attend such a meeting. When they said my deputy attended and when they looked back, they could not see my deputy again.
“Why would you see her? When she had seen what was there, she had to switch off because she knew it was a ‘wayo’. That is what this APC government is known for.”
The governor told the delegates that it was time for Nigerians to brace up to correct what he termed the mistake that brought the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to power.
He said he was offering himself as the most competent aspirant seeking their votes at the presidential primaries to fly the flag of the PDP.
Governor Wike insisted that it would require a man like him to end the sight of insecurity and poverty bedevilling various parts of the country.