Nnamdi Kanu defends Gov Wike over hotel demolition
* Says el-Rufai did worse as FCT minister
By Steve Oko
As controversy still trails the demolition of two hotels in Rivers State by Gov. Nyesom Wike, the Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has come to the defense of the governor, arguing the action was taken to protect the lives of the people against coronavirus infection.
Recall that Gov. Wike, had on Sunday, ordered and personally supervised the demolition of Edemete Hotel and Prodest Home over alleged violation of the lockdown order in the state.
The governor also accused the owner of hiring thugs against the lockdown enforcers who had earlier visited the premises to warn them of their breach of law.
He claimed that those who had tested positive to covid -19 in the state were harboured in hotels, a gross violation of government guidelines against covid -19.
But the governor’s action has since sparked angry reactions with some people accusing him of over reacting.
Meanwhile, Kanu has chided those calling for Wike’s head, contending that the action was in overriding public interest.
The IPOB Leader in a press statement entitled :” Wike Hotel Demolition & all the Furious Sanctimonious Humbug”, contended that Wike’s critics all maintained sealed lips when Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, demolished thousands of structures at the FCT, some on flimsy excuses, which most of the owners are yet to recover from the shock.
Kanu noted that though he was not trying to justify Wike’s excesses, it would be wrong for his critics to quickly condem him without considering the motive behind his action.
He insisted that el-Rufai and the current FCT Minister, Bello Mohammed did more damage to structures of Nigerians majority of which were owned by Biafrans at the FCT.
He further recalled that the Counsel of the Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA, Mallam Mohammed Alkali, had on April 10, 2008, told Senate Committee probing the sale of federal government houses and property in Abuja that the el-Rufai administration in FCT, destroyed 75,000 houses and other public property.
The statement personally signed by Kanu read in part : When El-Rufai was busy terrorising and pauperising thousands of Biafran businessmen by demolishing their hotels, bars, restaurants and homes in Abuja, some of the raging hypocritical voices of righteous indignation we are hearing today were never heard.
“They never uttered a word, nor made a sound because they were and are still afraid of their masters who are still demolishing legitimate Igbo businesses in Abuja.
“In fact, El-Rufai went on to become the governor of Kaduna State from where he openly admitted to paying killer Fulani terrorists that decimated the non-Fulani populations of Southern Kaduna. Today he is being touted as the next President of the … by the same people condemning Gov. Nyesom Wike.
“Current FCT Minister Bello Mohammed has simply carried on from where his predecessor El-Rufai stopped and has been busy demolishing far more expensive buildings in Abuja belonging to Biafrans than that destroyed in Igweocha by Wike.
“Does it mean I condone or excuse Wike’s administrative overreach? Of course NOT! I do not condone it because he went too far.
“But we must understand that operators of that very establishment risked the lives of thousands of people in Rivers State and beyond. Potentially, they could have brought infections and death to thousands of people, either through Coronavirus infected Alimajiri or by inadvertently providing accommodation to Fulani killers streaming into our towns and villages from the God forsaken North.
“Either way, the proprietors of the hotel placed thousands of lives at risk, whereas the Igbo businessmen and families whose livelihoods were taken away by El-Rufai and Bello Mohammed in Abuja committed no offense known to any law “.
Kanu recalled that the FCT Development Authorities, had in May, 2019, pulled down the N500 million ‘Caramelo Bar ‘ belonging to Mr Maxwell Eze.
The demolition of the multi-million famous night club located near the second intersection corner of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Way was greeted by public outrage.
Caramelo Bar demolished by FCTA
Owner of the bar, Mr Eze, had while lamenting his ordeal, told newsmen that :“They (FCTDA) just destroyed N500 million in a struggling economy; This is deliberate sabotage of this country’s economy.”
Eze blamed the FCT Minister, Bello Mohammed, for the demolition, describing it as a vindictive measure that did not consider the country’s flailing economy.
Kanu accused Wike’s critics of hypocrisy, as according to him they never uttered a word then against the overzealousness of the Minister but quick now to condemn the governor.
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