Ahead of the March 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said any form of relationship by the Integrity group with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) ended with the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
According to Wike, with the group’s relationship with other parties ended, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would emerge victorious from the March 11 elections and reign in states across the country.
He said: “On the 11th of March, close your eyes, don’t ask, everything you press must be the umbrella. There is no relationship with anybody again. The only relationship we have on the 11th of March is the umbrella. Don’t hear any grammar again. The only grammar you can hear now is the umbrella, nothing like a broom. Broom ended last Saturday. Labour ended last Saturday. What will reign now is an umbrella.”
Wike stated these while inaugurating the Ibadan airport aviation fuel dispensing facility and storage depot, the Dr Omololu Olunloyo Airport Road and flagging off the construction of the Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo Park, in Ibadan, on Friday.
He said the G5 governors were happy that Nigerians stood firm and ensured the materialization of the presidency moving to the South.
The Rivers governor argued that there was an unwritten law in the country that power must move from the North to the South and vice versa which must be implemented at every electoral cycle.
He said the G5 governors had shown boldness in their stance premised on the need for the right things to be done, no matter whose ox is gored.
“You can only belong to G5, stand your feet on the ground because you know what they are doing. It is only those who are afraid, who have nothing to offer that cannot stand firm, be bold and take a decision and say we must put things right no matter who is involved.
“He has shown that he is a man you can depend on; he has shown that he is a man that will not tolerate complete slavery. I am happy he is one of those that have made history by making sure power shifts to the South.”
Lauding the Oyo governor, Seyi Makinde on the airport projects, Wike said the fact that the Oyo governor was investing in the federal government-owned Ibadan airport echoed the imperative of federalism and restructuring.
Wike said it was expedient for the federal government to refund the Oyo State government for its investments in the airport or hands off and hand over the airport to the state.
He added: “Someone may ask why he is doing this. He is the governor of Oyo State. He wants the economy of his people to improve. Look at the VIP lounge of the airport, this is supposed to be the responsibility of the federal government. Look at the airport road named after the elder statesman. It is supposed to be the responsibility of the federal government. I have heard the regional manager say he wants more. Tell the federal government to refund the state the money they have invested here, or they should hand off and hand over the airport to the state.
“You cannot be spending state money and not the one controlling the airport. That is why we are talking of true federalism and restructuring. Certain things are owned by the federal government, but the federal government does not perform its responsibility. All they do at the end of the month is collect a percentage of the funds and then begin to do all kinds of things.”
Speaking, Manager, Ibadan airport, Mr Ojo Adedeji praised governor Seyi Makinde’s administration for improving facilities at the airport, including the provision of a fire-tender machine, the building of a protocol lounge, dualisation of the airport road and greatly assisting the airport in getting fuel and supply of power.
In his remarks, Seyi Makinde said the state government had embarked on a journey of Ibadan airport becoming an international airport.
He added that the upgrade of the airport will engender increased investments in the state, thereby boosting the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Makinde explained that the decision to name the 3.2kilometres Ibadan Airport Road after the former governor, Dr Omololu Olunloyo is in recognition of the need to honour the state’s heroes and those citizens of the state that have distinguished themselves in various spheres of life.
An elated honoree, Dr Omololu Olunloyo appreciated governor Makinde saying he never knew such honour will happen in his lifetime.
Olunloyo said: “I am flabbergasted by this honour given me. I never knew that anything like this was in store for me. I first took office in 1962 as a commissioner. I had a lot of energy at that time. But there have been many governors. I took 55 executive posts. I never knew we will have any reward in our own lifetime.
“So, I thank Engineer Seyi Makinde. I thank God and hope, very positively, that God will protect and anoint him once more as governor of Oyo State. Engineer Seyi Makinde has taken very good care of my family, my health. I had a near-death experience last year and my consultant called me a cat with more than nine lives. I thank governor Makinde for his love and care, sometimes without notice.
“There have been many governors before and after me. I must thank governor Makinde for his love and care of what is left in my body and my family.”
Among personalities that attended the event were Managing Director, Kopek Construction Limited, Feghali Issam; former governor Olusegun Mimiko; chairperson, BOVAS Nigeria, Mrs Victoria Samson; former governor’s wife, Mrs Mutiat Ladoja; Okere of Saki, Oba Khalid Olabisi; Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a chieftain of the PDP, Dr Saka Balogun; Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, High Chief Eddy Oyewole; Olu of Igboora, Oba Jimoh Titiloye; renowned entrepreneur, Chief Bode Amao; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Prince Yemisi Adeaga; pro-chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Professor Deji Omole; Deputy national chairman (South) of the PDP, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.