The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has reacted to claims that he betrayed the Christian faith by supporting a Muslim-Muslim ticket during the just concluded 2023 presidential elections.
According to Wike, those spreading rumours about his alleged betrayal of the Christian faith might push him to expose many people and politicians if they don’t stop the narrative.
Governor Wke made the submission during an interactive session with the leadership and critical stakeholders of the Rivers State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Tuesday night.
Wike who spoke against the backdrop of happenings during the February 25 presidential elections maintained that he was bold to declare Rivers a Christian state, and owed nobody any apology.
The Rivers State Governor reportedly worked for the All Progressives Congress (APC) which fielded a Muslim-Muslim ticket of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima.
The Governor said: “I do things because I am one person who has so much benefitted from the mercy of God. So, when people say that I am a betrayal of the Christian faith, I laugh.
“Let nobody in the Christian circle say, me I am a betrayal of Christian faith because they will make me to expose so many people and politicians.”
Speaking further, Wike maintained his belief and that of the integrity group/G5 Governors that power should return to the south in 2023 remains unshaken and insisted that he did the right thing by supporting it to happen in the February 25 elections.
According to him, it’s a lie to claim he didn’t support the Christian presidency.
The Governor said his administration had also maintained a robust relationship with the church with fees waived when any church applied to use a facility of government, adding that he built the Ecumenical Centre in Port Harcourt.
He said: “I am one of the apostles of southern presidency. I stood for it and I fought for it. I did not waver. I never betrayed the interest of the south, I never and I will not do it till tomorrow.
“Anybody who knows me when I want to fight, I will fight without hiding. Let nobody bring me to that in saying that I didn’t tot support the Christian presidency, that person must be wicked to tag me that because I will not and I have never failed the church and Christendom.”
During the meeting, Wike also urged the leadership and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state to shun politicians who may want to use them to get votes and then abandon them after elections.
The Governor said it is not expected of CAN to get involved in partisan politics.
He said: “Nobody can say that through this election, I called him or her and said, look, this is where you will go to. Nobody can also say that you came to me, see what the church has decided to do.
“Now we are going for local election, not national election. Why will people begin to bring CAN into it, which we have never done before. CAN Rivers State has always been one. You, going to take one of the families to say endorse this person, you’re killing CAN because this State is a Christian State.”
He added: “What I don’t like is politicians using the church because they want to benefit at that time. After that time, what happens? Do you listen to the church again?
“You don’t listen to the church. If, as politicians who are Christians, will listen to the church, the church will not be where and how it is today. The church would have grown stronger.”
He called on the CAN leadership to pray for a peaceful election on Saturday which would lead to a peaceful transition of power when his tenure expires and support the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara.
In his response, Rivers State Chairman of CAN, His Grace, Most Reverend Dokiboeriya Kaladokubo thanked Wike for his kind words during the interaction and also acknowledged the transformation projects the state had witnessed under the Governor’s administration.
Kaladokubo said the church and its leadership would continue to pray against any form of fighting or gunshot during Saturday’s election so as to allow for a peaceful process.