Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has given the lie to insinuations suggesting that he would contest against his boss, President Bola Tinubu, in the 2027 presidential election.
The former Rivers State governor vowed that having worked for the emergence of Tinubu as president, and having been made minister of the FCT, nothing would make him contest against his principal in 2027.
The minister who spoke on a live television programme in Abuja yesterday also said good character should never be compromised on the altar of politics.
Wike reiterated his commitment to the success of the Tinubu administration, even as he explained that the quest for justice was the key reason he and the G5 group of governors supported the presidential ambition of Tinubu.
He stated: “Tinubu made me the FCT minister and I won’t allow anybody to crumble our political structure. No! Tinubu made me minister; people do not understand. I have character.
“What will happen in 2027? I stood and I said I am not going to support injustice. I was threatened that they will do me this and that. They tried many options, including using Major Generals.”
On the update of his face-off with his successor, Governor Sim Fubara of Rivers State, the minister who initially said he did not want to talk about the matter however said, “Give a man power and money, that is when you will know the person. If you have not given a man power and money do not say you know the person.
“He may be your friend; he may be your son, sister or mother or father. I don’t want to go into that.”
Wike expressed dismay that Fubara would seek to destroy the structure which produced him as governor just within three months of his emergence.
“In three months, it is sad for someone to scatter a political structure that supported and brought you up. You know what is painful? All these allegations, I smile. Who and who sat with him. In all your doings be grateful in your life no matter the circumstance. Nobody who is a gentleman and a politician will support this kind of thing.
Speaking during a media chat in Abuja on Friday, Wike said: “We never knew that it will take you three months to scatter the political structure that picked you up. What is painful is seeing these propaganda and lies that I was angry. Did he (Fubara) buy form? Be grateful in your life in all circumstances.
“I will not allow anybody to crumble our political structure. I told him if you do this ring-road your second tenure would be assured, I took him to Germany to meet Julius Berger and they promised to do the road in three years, which is the year leading to election. I told him if you do this road, nobody will challenge you in Rivers State.
“Anything that will make me disrespect Mr President, count me out. He disobeyed the President, disobeyed the Vice President. When the law speaks, thuggery, militancy and ethnicity will run away.”
Wike also outlined some of his achievements as governor of Rivers State, saying he was paying pensioners’ gratuity every month, something he said was not done by his predecessor.
“I took River State to the level where you cannot discuss politics in Nigeria without Rivers State. I was an ordinary minister when I became a governor. I challenged the sitting governor and I defeated his candidate. I worked hard,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said existing landowners with Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in the FCT must re-certify them to incorporate the new features.
Wike said this would cost individuals N50,000 each and corporate bodies, N100,000 each.
Still speaking on a live television programme in Abuja, the minister noted that the new C-of-O would now require a National Identification Number (NIN) and Bank Verification Number (BVN)
He said he had been refraining from signing C-of-Os during his tenure as the FCT minister to introduce enhanced security measures, such as the inclusion of NIN for individuals and BVN for corporate bodies.
“There are a lot of discrepancies, a lot of cloning of C-of-Os. So, we have come up with an idea that every allottee who seeks and applies for a C-of-O must supply his NIN; this is one of the features we are going to put in the new C-of-O.
“If a corporate body doesn’t have an NIN and they have a property, they must put their BVN. So many persons have not registered, and this will make them go and re-register,” Wike stated.
On the existing landlords with C-of-Os, he noted that they would only be required to pay a nominal fee for recertification.
“For everyone who has a C-of-O, they will come for a recertification, so that we can incorporate the NIN or BVN. Those who had a C-of-O before do not need to pay money again; the highest they can pay is N50,000, and corporate bodies will pay N100,000. It helps in terms of security; it also helps to improve our revenue generation,” he said.
Order CBN to honour Letters of Credit– SINET to Tinubu, NASS
Amidst several hardships facing the Nigerian populace, the Social Integrity Network, (SINET) has urged President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the leadership of national assembly to compel the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, to order and reconsider honouring the forward contracts that are genuinely backed up with proper compliant documents for utilisation against each Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by the commercial banks using the forwards as a hedge.
The group also urged the Federal Government to make further clarification concerning a statement credited to the CBN Governor on issues regarding the alleged and well-publicized revelations of a $2.4 billion forex trading fraud.
SINET recalled that “On February 5, 2024, the governor of CBN made this declaration in both his interactions with Senate committees and his interview on a national television, following the engagement of Deloitte Management Consultant to conduct a forensic investigation where he claimed that the said amount was uncovered.
A statement issued on Monday by SINET national coordinator, Ibrahim Issah, disclosed that “On the contrary, we wish to unequivocally state that these claims lack merit and do not take into account the consequences they will have on businesses, public perception, or the economy of our cherished nation and its implication on forex both at home and abroad.”
According to him, “Without sentiment, the claim is completely falsehood and unacceptable as he, the CBN governor, failed to consider its economic implications. It is pertinent to state that genuine businessmen and women across the country, borrowed Funds from commercial banks, some with interest rates as high as 30% to secure forex from the CBN through their respective commercial banks since CBN does not sell the dollars to individuals directly.
“The same funds have been deposited with CBN for the past one and half years for forwards allocated for which the Apex Bank is now claiming were fraudulent transactions. May we remind Mr. Governor that while the CBN allocated the forwards after collecting the naira for each forward allocated, the commercial banks used these same forward contracts as a hedge and issued Letters of Credit (LCs) to their various customers against their offshore credit lines and also as a sovereign guarantee to their offshore banks which stand unpaid till today as a result of the failure of CBN to honour the various forward contracts.
“May we also remind our CBN Governor that as a result of their failure to honour these contracts, the outstanding foreign loans continue to accrue interest (post-negotiation charges), which the commercial Banks are passing to their customers: the same customers you say do not have a genuine claim.”
The statement further stressed that, “The public would like to ask Mr. Governor the following questions: What will happen to the foreign bank that is expecting their payment to be paid back? What will happen to the businessmen and women who had borrowed Naira from commercial Banks and paid the same into the CBN account for the purchase of forex for over eighteen months? Who will bear the interest charged on borrowed funds locally? Who will bear the charges running against the offshore lines used in establishing Letters of Credit? What will happen to the businesses? What will happen to the employees that are dependent on the survival of the businesses that CBN is trying to kill?
“We call upon the senate president and, in fact, the president and Commander In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to call the CBN governor to order and reconsider honouring the forward contracts that are genuinely backed up with proper compliant documents for utilisation against each Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by the commercial banks using the forwards as a hedge.
“Let us state categorically that the CBN is killing businesses by cancelling the forward contracts that were sold to them about 18 months ago at the rate of N450/dollar and now selling the same funds to the commercial banks and directing the bank to sell the money at the rate of 1,500/dollar to the same businesses who initially had a forward contract at the rate of N450/dollar.
“May we also remind Mr. Governor, that failure to honour these forward contracts is taking commercial banks longer time to clean the offshore lines already used for establishing Letters of Credit against which shipments have been done and payment made to LC beneficiaries by the offshore banks. The delays of the commercial banks to settle their Forex obligations to their offshore banks is making our country risk to be very high.
“Lastly, the public will like to call on the coordinating minister for the economy, Mr. Wale Edun to engage the CBN regarding this issue of undelivered forward contracts because at present in Nigeria, almost 60% of companies in the manufacturing sector have been closed due to the volatility of Forex in Nigeria in order to avoid the other 40% from also closing down.
“This will go a long way to help the few remaining manufacturing companies still in operation in Nigeria and also encourage the new investors that the president and commander in-chief of the federal republic is trying woo to bring their investments to Nigeria.”
APC To Yahaya Bello: Stop Confusing The Party, No Vacancy For National Chairman
The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the immediate-past governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello that there is no vacancy in the office of the national chairman of the party.
The national publicity secretary of the party, Felix Morka warned the former Kogi governor to stop confusing the party, saying the position of the national chairman is currently occupied.
Morka handed down the warning while addressing newsmen at the national secretariat of the party.
The posters of the former governor were seen on major streets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially around the federal secretariat and on walls and fences of structures around the APC national secretariat along Blantyre Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.
The bold picture of the former Kogi state governor is adorned with the inscription, “APC Next Level. Alhaji Yahaya Bello as APC National Chairman. Leading the Change, Building a Stronger APC.”