The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on Thursday, debunked the claim by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that he had a hand in the protests that took place in front of the Abuja and Port Harcourt residences of former governor Peter Odili and his wife, Justice Mary Odili.
Following the judgment of the Supreme Court which sacked the governor-elect of the All Progressives Congress, David Lyon, some protesters had gone to the houses to protest the verdict.
Reports credited to Wike suggested that Sylva and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, were responsible for the incident.
But Sylva in a statement on Thursday said there was no truth in Wike’s claim. He stressed that he had always held the Odilis in high esteem.
The former Bayelsa State governor said the protest might have been organised by those working for Wike in order to pit him and Oshiomhole against the Supreme Court.
The statement read in part, “There is no truth in that strange claim. Governor Wike should know in what high esteem I hold Governor Peter and Justice (Mrs) Odili whom I have known and worked with long before Governor Wike came into the picture.
“I hope Governor Wike or those working with him have not organised this protest with the intention of hanging it on our neck to incense the Supreme Court towards us, knowing that we intend to approach the Supreme Court again.
“On the issue of securing Governor Peter and Justice (Mrs) Mary Odili, I have this to say: Governor Wike as Governor of Rivers State has the duty to protect all Rivers people, including the Odilis. I hope he has lived up to this duty creditably.”
Meanwhile, the immediate past governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has condemned the protests in the Abuja and Port Harcourt residences of the Odilis.
The former governor described the protests and the sponsors as reprehensible, crude and barbaric in a statement by his media aide, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, on Thursday.
He said, “We are a country with respect for rule of law and respect for our judicial officers. The sponsors of the protesters in Abuja and Port Harcourt and the APC hoodlums who took to the streets in Yenagoa to unleash mayhem, destroying property of the PDP supporters including my residence must be made to realize that we are in a democracy.”
The Deputy Minority Leader of House of Representatives, Mr Toby Okechukwu, also condemned the attack.