Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that nobody has right to question his decision to invite leaders of opposition political parties in the country to inaugurate some of the projects executed by his administration in the State.
Apart from the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who inagurated the Peter Odili Cancer Diagnostic and Cardiovascular Centre in Port Harcourt this Monday, the governor has also invited President Muhammadu Buhari, to inaugurate the Nabo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigeria Law School in Port Harcourt on Friday.
Other opposition leaders expected to inaugurate projects executed by the Wike administration in the State are a former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, as well as presidential candidates of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Gregory Obi, and tha of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
The development has further heightened the tension within the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where the Rivers State governor and four of his colleagues recently withdrew their support for the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the 2023 elections.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Peter Odili Cancer Diagnostic and Cardiovascular Centre on Monday, Wike stated that it was within his right to choose whoever he pleases to undertake such assignment.
He asked those who felt slighted for ignoring them, to also execute projects in their various States and invite him to inaugurate them.
The governor said: “Those, who are saying why am I not inviting them to inaugurate projects, you invite me to inaugurate in your own place. I have a choice to invite whoever I want to come and inaugurate projects. On Wednesday, Adams Oshiomhole will come.
“On Thursday, Peter Obi will come and commission, on Friday, President Buhari will commission the Nigerian Law School. On Monday, Kwankwaso will come. If you want to have high blood pressure, it is your business.”
Wike explained that he named the project after his successor in office, Odili, because of his service to humanity as a former governor and a medical practitioner.
He stated that Odili distinguished himself for not abandoning his people and relocating to Abuja to join others, who had developed the habit of forming associations to seek relevance and run around a presidential candidate.
Wike said: “Give me a better reason while I should not name it after Dr. Peter Odili. This is a man who has run one of the best clinics in this State as a medical doctor. This is a man, who has served this state as a governor for eight years.
“This is a man, who had refused to join his colleagues in Abuja to form an association of former Governors so that they can be relevant in running around a presidential candidate. He has devoted himself on medical education, still serving the people to see how we can train more doctors and other health officers.
“Who then is more qualified for this facility to be named after? There are those when they leave office, they don’t bother about service again. That is why we are where we are. People became governors for eight years, Senators for 16 years, and nobody cares about home again.
“All they do is to live in Abuja and form associations and then begin to hang around the presidential candidate. Instead of them making the presidential candidate win election, they begin to deceive him.
“But Odili refused to be a party to that. I am very proud and I owe nobody any apology at all. If you are not happy try and be a governor and name anybody you want.”