Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, has reprimanded Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for criticising the Federal Government’s decision to pardon two former governors, Jolly Nyame of Taraba and Joshua Dariye of Plateau.
President Muhammadu Buhari pardoned 159 criminals during a Council of State on Thursday, April 14. Read on.
Governor Wike reacted angrily, saying the President’s choice was simply political, since he wanted both former governors to support the APC campaign in 2023. Governor Wike questioned why the President didn’t pardon former Delta State Governor James Ibori, saying it was a disrespect to the courts.
Wike claimed the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption battle was selective on Saturday in Minna, where he met with PDP delegates ahead of the party’s presidential primary.
“I want to tell you that this government is very deceptive and they have deceived us enough. You have big big people, you jail them after all the court proceedings and waste of money, then you ridicule the judiciary by granting them pardon. How will the international community look at us with these type of things we do. Look at the amount spent in the prosecutions and you wake up one morning and messed it up all because of politics. He obviously wants them to help him during the elections, he wants Dariye to help with Plateau while Nyame will work for Taraba. If it is not for election purpose, why did he not grant pardon to the likes of James Ibori and Atuche?
Shehu claimed the governor could have objected to the decision during the Council of State meeting, but he didn’t. According to him, the Rivers state deputy governor turned off her camera and made no input.
Read his words below.
''I do not see the moral justification for Governor Wike’s criticism of the decision of the government to pardon Governors Dariye and Nyame at a meeting to which he was duly invited but did not attend. The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo who joined the Council of State meeting virtually switched off her camera so it was difficult to determine whether she sat behind the dark screen or just walked away after first joining. If the Governor felt so strongly about the pardons, the right was for him or his representative to sit through the meeting and assert views. This did not do. A press release after the meeting is bolekaja politics.''