GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has fired back at his Kano State counterpart Abdullahi Ganduje who threatened to drag him to court for demolishing a mosque in Port Harcourt saying he is not a fistful of dollars who can be pocketed with ease.
Last week, Governor Ganduje, whose state has the highest number of Muslims in Nigeria, threatened to take legal action against Governor Wike for demolishing a mosque in the Trans-Amadi Area of Port Harcourt. Governor Wike, has since denied the allegation, saying there was no mosque at the site where illegal structures were demolished by environmental officers.
Today, however, events heated up, with Governor Wike lashing at Governor Ganduje, popularly known as Gandollar after he was filmed stuffing wads of dollars into his pockets. Apparently the money was a 30% cut he received from a contractor who had been awarded a state contract and according to opposition politicians in Kano State, this is standard practise with Governor Ganduje.
Simeon Nwakaudu, Governor Wike’s spokesman, said: “It beats my imagination that Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is still in the habit of making irresponsible comments about Rivers State. Up till now, Ganduje is yet to realise that Governor Wike is not dollars that he can pocket recklessly and sheepishly.
“I saw a statement released by Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in which he said that he will sue Governor Wike over the falsehood that a mosque was demolished in Port Harcourt. For the umpteenth time, no mosque was demolished by Governor Wike and no mosque was demolished by the Rivers State government.
“The story was a fabrication by one Alhaji Tobacco and the fabrication was orchestrated by Daily Trust and The Nation newspapers for obvious mischievous political reasons. These baseless press releases confirm the ugly plot.
“Several journalists and civil society groups have visited the disputed land and no traces of any mosque were found at the location. Governor Wike personally led journalists to the disputed land and the world saw that no mosque existed there.
“On Saturday, the Rivers State Islamic leader and the vice president of the Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Uhor stated that there was no physical structure of a mosque on the disputed land at Rainbow Town in Port Harcourt. He said the insinuation that any structure was at that location was not true and he also admitted that a Rivers State high court confirmed that the disputed land belongs to the Rivers State Government.
“The entire world is aware of the above facts and nobody has circulated any photographs or videos of the said mosque that Ganduje and other All Progressives Congress chieftains are harping on. They merely want to use a non-existent mosque story to score ugly political points.
“As a governor with a bruised ego, Ganduje thinks that this religious falsehood would afford him a backdoor entry into the national good books. Sadly, he has exposed himself as a terribly ignorant leader who basks in baseless claims.”