The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State has demanded for the probe of Mr. Ezebuwon Nyesom Wike as Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Education. The party, in making the call, asserted that such exercise would no doubt strengthen the anti-corruption fight in the country much as it will expose the rot perpetuated under the guise of the Almajiri school scheme, the Universal Basic Education, UBEC, and the TETFUND under Wike’s watch. “That Wike has left office as Minister of State(Education), does not cancel the fact and effect of the alleged fraud”, APC added, citing the case of Mr. Kashim Buruji as a good reference of an accused facing justice years after. “If Mr. Kashim Buruji today faces extradition to the United States to face drug-related charges years after the alleged crime was committed, Nigeria’s Federal Government can as well call Wike to account for his actions or inactions when he served as Minister for State(Education)|”.
In a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, APC said Nigerians need to know that under Wike, as a junior minister in the Ministry of Education, corruption was elevated to a culture. Continuing, APC noted that about N87billion was yet to be accounted for under Wike. “It took Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau as Minister of Education to unearth the shady deals Wike knew but invariably participated in, to be exposed. But since Wike was then under the cover of a President who condoned corruption, the deals never received serious attention. Wike needs to be called to account for the N87billion and where necessary face justice”, the party argued.
Questioning what became of the over N20 billion voted for the purchase of books for Federal Government institutions, APC tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to recover the missing sums.
“We doubt Wike at any time furnished Federal Government-owned schools’ libraries with books. Therefore, the only thing left to do is to demand an account on how the allotted money was used as virtually every FG school library shelves remain empty of books”.
On further need why Wike should be probed, Rivers APC said the former junior minister cornered several contracts from NDDC, an action in itself, unbecoming of a public servant. “We are aware that Wike received several contracts worth billions of Naira from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which were not executed. The huge rip-off of Niger Delta people was basically to equip Wike with a large war chest for the 2015 general election. True to his nature, Wike abandoned the contracts and pocketed the money thereby fleecing the Nigerian Government and people of billions of Naira. Wike connived with his crony who is the Director of Finance and Administration in the Commission to receive full payments for contracts never executed”.
APC, which accused Wike of further heating the fragile political atmosphere in Rivers State through his unguarded utterances and ill-thought actions since May 29, warned against turning Rivers state into a tyrant’s enclave.
“Wike is indebted to Nigeria’s government, having dipped his hands into its treasury questionably, corruptly enriching himself. His actions have further impoverished Nigerians and his questionable lifestyle and source of income should be investigated. The best time to do so is now”, APC averred.
State Publicity Secretary