Governor Nyesom Wike of the Rivers State has refuted suggestions he tried to manipulate the last gubernatorial in the state by offering a kickback to the General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Maj Gen Jamil Sarham.
Wike’s statement was a sequel to bribery allegations issued by the Nigerian Army after the governor accused the GOC of oil theft.
A statement by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations, Col Aminu Iliyasu, alleged that the refusal of the GOC to be bought over by Wike to rig the polls led to the governor’s allegation.
But speaking while announcing the dissolution of the Rivers State Executive Council, Wike described the bribery allegation against him by the GOC as false.
He said the GOC recently appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Army but never made the bribery allegation because nothing like that took place.
He said, “They say they will remove me through the tribunal, but we defeated them during the elections. If it is to conduct elections, they will never win.
“Someone who says he never met me before and has never been to Government House would now say I am fighting him because I tried to bribe him with billions of naira.
“The GOC has been fully involved in oil bunkering. He should explain his involvement instead of false allegation. The House of Representatives Committee on Army was here, he could not say he was bribed.
“He is saying this because he is involved in oil bunkering.
“They know it is correct. It was an election that we defeated you and your party; why would I have to pay a bribe?
“We defeated you in that election. The man you have not met; how could he have offered to bribe you?”
Earlier in a statement by Iliyasu, the Army challenged Wike to provide evidence of any meetings with Sarham in attendance.
He said, “Wike’s allegation against Sarham’s selfish involvement in illegal oil bunkering is another reckless, spurious and mischievous accusation.”
“Wike’s resentment against the GOC is based on the latter’s choice of professionalism and integrity over the billions of naira offered to him by the governor to compromise the 2019 general elections.
“His (GOC) refusal to be bought over and the rejection of such a hefty offer is the genesis of Wike’s hatred and vociferous criticisms against Sarham.”