Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers state, on Thursday, September 22, urged Nigerians to ask Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s information minister, to stop allegedly peddling utterances that heat up the polity.
In reaction, Alhaji Mohammed said Wike was only looking for a way he would react and elevate the governor to a decent human being.
“I cannot join words with Wike because doing so would mean elevating him to a decent human being,” the minister, who had continuously ensured Nigerians are kept abreast of issues of national development in relation to the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, told Onlinenigeria.com.com on the phone.
Wike, who spoke during while declaring open the All Nigeria Editors Conference holding in Port Harcourt, said Nigeria was in crisis because of four major challenges which he said are “poor governance, nepotism, marginalization and state-sponsored repression continue to do violence to national unity and cohesion.”
Wike’s spokesperson, Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted the governor as urging “all well-meaning Nigerians to call on the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, to stop stoking the embers of disharmony and divisions in the polity with his irresponsible utterances and wild allegations against members of opposition political parties.”
The governor said: “We are only pretending we think that all is well with our country. The country is in crisis as poor governance, nepotism, marginalization and state-sponsored repression continue to do violence to nation unity and cohesion.
“At times like this, the country needs forthright leadership and consensus building to steer the ship of state from the wrong direction it is headed to safer grounds.
“Nigerians of goodwill must therefore call the minister of information to stop stoking the ambers of disharmony and divisions in the polity with his irresponsible utterances and wild allegations against members of opposition political parties.”
He added: “For some of us therefore, there is nothing nobler than being counted on this path and as long as God gives us breathe we shall remain in the trenches fighting for our democratic rights and freedoms until victory is ultimately achieved.
“But, we also believe that this is a fight that should and must be led by the media for full effect and agenda setting.
“This calls for greater vigilance and courage in giving effective voice to the contending issues and taking personal responsibility for factuality.It can’t be otherwise.”
He lamented that despite the monumental achievements of his administration, the opposition in the state has continued to undermine his government with tacit support from the federal government and a politically inclined police.
He said: “Therefore, when a supposed opposition goes beyond the bonds of decency in conjuring lies to rubbish and undermine every effort of ours to serve and advance the progress of the state, then the media owes society the duty to investigate and expose their mischievous intentions with the facts at their disposal.
“At any rate, those who live in glass houses, they say, should avoid throwing stones. As our representatives in the federal government, are they not responsible for attracting development projects to Rivers state?”