Leaders of the Niger Delta have again warned controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi to desist from attacking the Federal Capital Territory FCT Minister, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, saying the minister has their confidence and is not a political orphan.
They gave the warning on Tuesday when they paid a solidarity visit on the minister.
Led by Prof. AW Obianime, other members of the delegation included the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Dr Sam Ogbuku; former Presidential Adviser on Amnesty, Dr Kingsley Kuku; Chief Ayiri Emami; Chief Tony Okocha; Elder TK Ogoriba and a host of others.
Reading the text of a prepared speech on behalf of the delegation, Dr Kuku said Gumi’s arrogation of exclusive ownership and monopoly of administration of Abuja by a given ethno-religious region in Nigeria is not only disgusting, senseless but also puerile, hubristic, irresponsible and divisive.
“It clearly goes against the grain of Abuja as the melting pot of Nigeria and therefore highly condemnable. We are glad for the avalanche of criticisms against his unguarded statements from every nook and cranny and the denial of his mean and myopic position even by the Northern Elders Forum NEF.
“Going further, Gumi should know that Barr. Wike is not a political orphan from the Niger Delta; he has a very strong socio-political base. So, we take very serious exceptions to the call for the Minister’s sack and to the blackmail on the President with denial of electoral/political support in far away 2027 should the President fail to do his unholy bidding.
“We wonder where Gumi has got the right and audacity to threaten the President. We also wonder what electoral value Gumi carries in Nigerian Politics.
“In the midst of all these diversions, we urge the Minister to remain focused and discard the tantrums of a frustrated sympathizer and promoter of terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria who is sorely afraid of your noble plans to deal squarely with the menace that is ravaging Abuja.
“Gumi’s satanic utterances smack of one fishing in troubled waters whose singular desire/object in life is for the waters to continue to be troubled for him to fish. These waters need peace and stability. Therefore, we urge you to continue with your developmental plans.
“The Honourable Minister is assured of our total support as long as you are on the right track in the performance of your official duties. We would, however, urge you to be very circumspect in your official engagements. Continue to be focused, ignore distractions and make Nigeria proud”.
Earlier, Prof. Obianime said all those attacking Wike must understand that he has his backers.
“We agreed to come and solidarize with you. These are the people whose voices we do not hear everyday but once they appear and speak, they hold water.
“Worried about the situation in the polity and innuendoes and statements being attributed to certain people, we just want to come and say to the world that this masquerade has drummers, that this masquerade trying to reshape Abuja has the backing of his people.
“We are here to make sure what the minister himself sleeps well, knowing that his people are with him. When they call you Mr Project, that name was not given just like that but based on what you have done”.
The group which said while on its way to Abuja, it got wind of the political situation in Rivers state, also sought Wike’s intervention in ending the crisis.
Responding, Wike called for unity among the various ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta, saying nothing tangible could be achieved in an atmosphere of disunity.
He said; “I have not lost focus, and I will not lose focus, as I want to remain focused to do my work. What is important today is to support Mr. President to achieve his eight-point agenda of the renewed hope. So in the course of this work, some people may not be happy and some people will be happy. So you don’t expect that everybody will be happy. So when the historic appointment was made, you don’t expect people not to talk. You should not be bothered that people will react.
“I can assure you that I don’t think or bother to know who even made the statement. So don’t be worried about that. And I want to urge you to continue to support Mr. President, so that at the end of the day all of us will be happy. At the point where we are Mr. President will take very hard decisions, which we may not like, but at the end of the day it will bring us out of this logjam. It is not going to be a miracle or magic, as when things are bad it is going to take difficult steps to see that the President puts things right.
“In Niger Delta, we should stop ethnicizing any event that happens. And that is why we are not always getting things right. It is not only when something favours us, then we are right, and when it doesn’t favour us, then we are wrong.
“In politics, there are a lot of internal wranglings, it doesn’t mean that those involved will not settle in their family. So, when things are wrong, you ask questions, that is what leadership is all about. When you hear something, ask questions to know what is going on or what happened, so you can also appraise the situation”, he added.
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