River State Governor Nyesom Wike on Tuesday requested a state visit from Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari whom he often criticises.
The request by Wike, a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was made in an appreciation letter to Buhari, who he described as a remarkable president.
His request came after the federal government paid N78.9 billion it owed the state government.
“I wish to, on behalf of the Government and people of Rivers State, appreciate and most sincerely, thank you for graciously approving the refund of the sum of N78.9 billion to the Rivers State Government, as cost of execution of Federal Government’s road projects in the State,” Wike said.
“Mr. President has by this remarkable and heartwarming gesture shown not only your love for the Government and people of Rivers State but, also, demonstrated expressively that you are, indeed, a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.
“I wish to, therefore, appeal to Mr. President to kindly oblige us with a State visit when invited, to see what we have accomplished for the State and our people with the money.”
Wike most recent criticism of Buhari and his government came weeks after Nigeria began recording an increase in coronavirus cases.
Buhari in March approved the release of N10b to Lagos State, the hardest-hit by a coronavirus in Nigeria, to curb the global pandemic.
Wike said the fund was released to Lagos State because it’s an All Progressives Congress (APC) state.
“It is quite unfortunate that the containment of coronavirus has been politicized by the Federal Government,” Wike tweeted in April.
Nigeria at the time had 232 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 120 of them in Lagos State. Abuja, Nigeria capital city was second with 47 cases.
“One wonders why Federal Government should single out a state out of 36 States to give support,” Wike said. “This is a Federal Republic. No state is superior to others.”
Months later after calling Buhari a president indeed, Wike assured him “that the Rivers State Government is willing and ever ready to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government to advance the developmental aspirations of Rivers State in particular, and our nation in general.”