Wike vs Ireti Kingibe: Why FCT heavyweights are at loggerheads

 Wike vs Ireti Kingibe: Why FCT heavyweights are at loggerheads

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, threatens Ireti Kingibe, Senator for FCT’s position in the next general elections as they clash over FCT projects.

Senator Kingibe in an Arise TV interview complained that Wike is not focusing on the needs of the people revealing that Abuja lacks potable water, healthcare, education and security. Stating that he does not carry her along in his decision-making.

Minister Wike who spoke at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of the Mabushi bus terminal in Abuja, on Monday, reacting to Kingibe’s claims asserted that she will not be reelected in 2027.

He said,“If we have done well, we have done well. If we haven’t done well, we haven’t done well. I am proud to say that in the short time that President Tinubu has appointed us, we have done well,” Wike said.

Addressing the senator’s performance, Wike questioned, “You said there are no schools and hospitals. You, as a legislator, what have you done? How many bills have you sponsored to improve our education and health sectors?”

Challenging Kingibe’s popularity, he continued, “I challenge that legislator. If you are very popular, in 2027, come and run under Abuja; we will fail you. You think that what happened last time will happen again? It will not happen again. If you are popular, come and run. Luckily for me, I am the FCT minister now. So, here is my territory, and I am not afraid.”

“We are not begging for anybody to be our friend. We have so many friends that we cannot even carry them along. So, how can we go and beg people to be our friends? We are not interested in that.”

The background of Wike and Kingibe’s strained relationship

In the 2023 general election, Ireti Kingibe of the Labour Party (LP) defeated Philip Aduda of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Aduda, an ally of Nyesom Wike, served as a senator from 2011 to 2023.

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Since taking office, Kingibe and Wike have had a contentious relationship. The senator has repeatedly accused Wike of sidelining her, despite her role as the representative for the FCT. Their frequent public clashes highlight the tension between them.

Wike claims that Kingibe’s frustration is due to his close association with Aduda and her failure to secure the position of senate chairperson for the committee on FCT.

In September 2023, Kingibe disputed Wike’s authority to threaten demolitions of “illegal buildings” in the territory. By January, she alleged that Wike had ignored her letters and messages amid increasing insecurity in Abuja.

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