• God will not give power to the wicked, government tells Okowa

A Former Peoples’ Democratic Party National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus has described Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike’s allegations that he failed to execute and complete contracts awarded to him as lies.

Secondus said he had never been a contractor and never offered or collected any state contracts as the governor alleges.

During the commissioning of the Eneka-Igbo Etche Road project, the governor on Friday accused Secondus of failing to execute contracts it obtained from the state government. He said that in some cases, the contract amount was paid in full but the projects were not completed. He challenged the former party chairman to name any road contracts awarded to him that he had completed.

But in his response on Saturday, Secondus told Sunday PUNCH in a brief interview: “I’ve never been a contractor. I did not charge or bid for any contract in Rivers State or its government as Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike alleges.

“It is wrong of you to make such major accusations without any evidence. Have him do his research and go to the Corporate Affairs Commission to get the details of the companies that he has given contracts to or that the state gave contracts to. I am not one of them.

“With his status, it’s wrong for him to buy airtime from TV stations and spread lies and half-truths. Is he the owner of Julius Berger who has been so successful in the state executing contracts worth hundreds of billions of Naira?

Secondus said he would prefer to focus on working for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to win the February 25 presidential election.

Secondus stated: “As for me, I am not a violent man and remain committed to the victory of our presidential candidate and his running mate, Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa, in the upcoming presidential elections. I am calling on Governor Wike to join progressive minded people in Nigeria in being a part of a positive story. I am sure he loves the PDP and will do nothing to jeopardize their victory on any level. I wish the Governor a happy and prosperous New Year.”

Wike answers Okowa

Meanwhile, Wike responded to Okowa’s statement that God, not the G-5 governors, would determine Nigeria’s next president.

Speaking at the launch of the Ogbo-Ihugbodo Road project in the Ahoada East local government area on Saturday, Wike said G-5 governors would never play God.

He said: “We are alive today and we are where we are thanks to God. So no one can tell us that he is only God; we know that it is only God who gives the power. But our prayer is that God, forbid those who will sell Nigeria in the next second to be in power.

“Our prayer is God, don’t let anyone with whom you (the people) have an agreement and in the next two minutes, the person will change. Our prayer is that Almighty God will not allow those who betray their brothers when they have agreed to do something with their brothers. God, may you never allow such people.”

In his veiled reference to Okowa, Wike said: “Don’t be treacherous in life because you want power. God will never give power to the wicked. Our hands are clean. We have not done anything wrong. All we are saying is that we do things in a way that we all feel a sense of belonging and believe that we are together. That’s all we’re saying.

“If saying that is wrong, then let’s leave it in God’s hands. But we know that it is good that as he takes the right, he also takes the left”.

Wike, who also rejected Okowa’s prediction that there would be a split among the G-5 governors, said: ‘It never worked and it will never work in Jesus’ name. By sitting down to say that there will be division, I return that prayer to you. I don’t want to discuss them. I have told people to let the sleeping dog lie. If you don’t, you won’t be able to sleep either.”

He said that some of those who were against the G-5 governors were people who once left the party and managed to lose the 2015 presidential election. “I heard them say that the PDP is a responsible party. I agree, but they left the PDP in 2014 and caused the party to lose the elections. Today, we are fighting to seize power from APC. Who are the ones who made us lose this power? he said.

Speaking about the highway project, he said it was already established that his administration would have an unbeatable record in terms of performance.