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Wike tackles Oshiomhole at Abuja book launch

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The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike yesterday, clashed over issues concerning President Muhammadu Buhari.

The verbal exchange took place during the unveiling of the book “The Big Interviews” written by Mr. Eric Osagie, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Oshiomhole had in his goodwill message, said it was good for leaders to practise what they preached.

He also said that Nigerian journalists should exude fearlessness and courage and ask hard questions during interviews.

Oshiomhole said Buhari would be the easiest person to be interviewed by Osagie as he did not wear boxing gloves, but talk in a soft tone.

The former Edo State Governor recalled how he watched an interview by a former Nigerian president, who he alleged was a mentor to Governor Wike.

Oshiomhole said the ex-president, while speaking on population growth in Africa, said the problem of Africa was due to lack of population control which he identified as the main reason for poverty in the continent.

Oshiomhole went on to say the interviewer further asked the ex-president that as leader of Africa’s most populous nation, how many children he contributed to the population growth and how many wives did he marry.

He added, “I thought, for me, that was courageous; that leaders should not preach what they are not doing. You can’t be on record as having so many wives, both registered and unregistered, several children, some in dispute, and yet you go to the Queens land and lecture about population.”

The APC National Chairman also said an ex-president who is famous for writing letters, when asked a question on corruption on the BBC Hard Talk, tried to make a distinction between the president and the government.

“But the man said, but you have a responsibility to enforce law and order.

You made those laws, but you did not enforce them. For me, talking about courage and professional hazards, that would be. I am trying to imagine if anybody could have in this hall, asked him such questions and then he finds his way to his Apo Village to go and sleep as if nothing has happened,” Oshiomhole said.

But Wike, who is of the opposition PDP, said Oshiomhole raised some issues which needed to be addressed. He recalled Oshiomhole’s statement that leaders should practice what they preached and not what they do not practice.

He recalled Oshiomhole’s visit to the Presidential Villa to thank a former president for ensuring one man, one vote.

“Today, do we have one man one vote? So, you see, it is very, very important. As my leader, I expected that when he had that opportunity to thank a president that said one man one vote, you should have carried it along to make sure there is one man, one vote. So, preach what you practice.”

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