The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and his former Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, John Bazia, traded words on Monday over the recent defections between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress in the state.
Both Wike and Bazia featured on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, on Monday.
The ex-commissioner had not only left Wike’s cabinet, but also dumped the PDP for the APC.
The programme ended on a dramatic note when Bazia described the governor as a thug.
The ex-commissioner said, “The governor, Wike, I must tell you (that) all those who are with him, they know what they are going through. But you have been seeing him on TV and the way he has been behaving in Nigeria. Sometimes, you will be baffled if that is an enlightened and educated mind; the way he carries himself. He forgets that he holds the exalted position, the office of the governor. He behaves like a thug…”
The anchor, Seun Okinbaloye, however, interjected Bazia, saying his words were weighty.
Wike was miffed when the interviewer called him to react to the ex-commissioner.
He partly said, “You sit down there and somebody who said I appointed him had the temerity, the audacity to say I behave like a thug, and you are asking me that question to react to what somebody I appointed (as commissioner).
“However, let me tell you: look at him talking now. When he was commissioner, did he look that haggard? A thug appointed you commissioner; you never knew that he was a thug but he appointed you a commissioner. So, only when he removed you that you then know that he behaves like a thug. You did not resign, you were working with a thug all the while until when the thug did not bring you back as a commissioner (for a second term in 2019), you then realised that he behaves like a thug.
“Now, look at the kind of characters we have and these are the kinds of people that you want me to respond to: somebody who stole the ‘kola’ of traditional rulers and up till now, he has not gone to court to challenge our saying (allegation) that he stole ‘kola’ given to traditional rulers and clergymen.
“Why did he not resign when he was commissioner? When I won my second tenure, he was lobbying that I was going to bring him back, but when I appointed another commissioner, he knew that he would not come back.”