Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike says the interest of Nigerians and Africans will be better served with the country “remaining as one strong and united nation”.
During a visit to the sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad, at the weekend, Wike said: “We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable. I am from the Niger Delta, from Rivers state to be specific so I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country.”
He thanked the sultan “for working tirelessly to ring peace and to bring unity to the people”, adding: “For all of us this is what is meant by one Nigeria.”
Wike said his administration has put a lot of time, resources and energy to protect national assets especially the ones in Rivers state.
“In Rivers you hardly find pipeline vandalisation. We are working at all times to protect national assets in our state. In my state, I am governor for all the people living in the state. I am not a governor of a particular political party, but a governor for all the people of Rivers state,” he said.
While commending the sultan for his leadership of the Muslim community in Nigeria, Wike said he was in the state to felicitate with Sokoto governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who gave out his daughter in marriage on Saturday.
He dispelled the notion that his relationship with Tambuwal had political connotation.
“Tambuwal is my friend for a long time. If anything affects him, it affects me also. If he gives out his daughter in marriage, I have to be here to support him. If any problem happens to him, it affects me as well,” he said.
“Your Eminence I am here to seek your royal blessing. You have blessed me before, that is why I am growing. So let me wish you a prosperous new year ahead.”
Sultan implored Nigerians to live in peace with one another and wished their countrymen and women “a year full of happiness and blessings”.