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Tinubu Clarifies ‘I Owe You Nothing’ Comment to Wike

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President-elect, Bola Tinubu, ended his two-day official visit to Rivers State on Thursday by explaining his response to Governor Nyesom Wike’s request for a refund of the monies spent for flyovers on federal roads in the state.

On Wednesday, the president-elect told the governor that he owed him nothing, a comment that sparked online conversations, suggesting that the response may have political connotations.

But speaking during the inauguration of the Justice Iche Ndu Magistrates Court Complex in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Tinubu said he could not commit himself to anything when his tenure had not started.

“I am personally grateful to the man who brought me here. He didn’t ask for a personal commitment. He asked for a policy commitment which an incoming president has no authority to offer and approve,” Tinubu said.

“There can only be one president at a time, I cannot commit to expenditure on behalf of the outgoing president when my tenure has not started.”

The president-elect said the unity of Nigeria was non-negotiable, assuring all citizens that he will be fair to all.

He also said his administration will ensure judicial reforms.

“I take a different angle to what Wike has done here today: it’s fighting corruption,” he said.

“To pay attention to their (judges') welfare. If you want a fair dispensation of justice, you don’t want them to operate in hazardous conditions, this is the way to fight corruption.

“Let’s think: value for value. We don’t want our judges to play foul, to compromise justice, not just the books but do something and I  promise you we are going to review all of this in our policy intact.”

Governor Wike had earlier stressed the need for attitudinal change in the maintenance of public facilities.

He also charged the Chief Judge of the state to ensure proper maintenance of the building. The governor promised a monthly maintenance fee of N20 million.

“I feel so bad that you build a structure like this, come back here in the next six months, and ask yourself, ‘Why did I even embark upon this?’

“Beautiful as it is, I hope in the next six months it will still be like this; when you enter into the courtrooms the air conditioners should be working. Put it in your budget.

“I will plead with my successor to each month you will get N20 million to maintain this place, so we will give you one year in advance for the maintenance of the structure,” Governor Wike said.

The governor named a block in the newly-inaugurated Justice Iche Ndu Magistrates Court Complex after his wife, Justice Eberechi Nyesom Wike.

He also named other blocks after top judicial officers in the state. The governor said he decided to name one block after his wife so as not to leave office empty-handed, having named other structures after distinguished justices.


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