Ireti Kingibe not happy she wasn’t appointed senate FCT committee chair, says Wike

Friday Ajagunna
Friday Ajagunna
Nyesom Wike

Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), has explained why Ireti Kingibe is not on good terms with him.

Kingibe, the senator representing FCT, and the minister have not had a good working relationship since they both assumed their respective offices.

In September 2023, Kingibe said Wike does not have the executive powers to make threats of demolition of “illegal” buildings” in the territory.

In January, the lawmaker claimed that Wike had refused to respond to her letters and messages in the wake of the rising insecurity in Abuja.

Speaking at a media parley on Thursday, Wike said Kingibe’s anger stems from his constant companionship with Philip Aduda, her predecessor in the Senate.

The minister said he could not be forced to be friends with Kingibe.

“Somebody wants to be your friend. I said I don’t want to be your friend. Is it by force? The problem is that she wanted to be chairman of the senate committee on FCT but the senate (Godswill) president said: I’m not giving it to you,” Wike said.

When journalists pointed out the lawmaker’s apparent interest in FCT affairs, Wike responded curtly, saying, “What? Are you going to supervise me? You cannot supervise me.”.

The minister said he has always invited the chairpersons of the FCT committee in the senate and house of representatives to witness the flag-off of projects in the nation’s capital.

“There’s nothing we have done that I have not invited the two chairmen of the FCT,” he said. Nobody can intimidate me. I was a minister before, I became a governor of one of the most important states in Nigeria, and now I am a minister of FCT,” he said.

“You’re saying the minister does not carry me along. I don’t have the back. People don’t know how to go about things. It is not intimidation.

“The problem is this—she ran an election against my friend Philip Aduda. And then she sees Philip Aduda everywhere with me. She said I was taking Philip everywhere instead of her who is the senator. Will I abandon my friend because he failed the election? People are so petty. It doesn’t make sense.”

Wike asked Kingibe to “do the right thing” through appropriate communication.

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