President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Nyesom Wike
Two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and David Umahi of Ebonyi, were at daggers drawn last Saturday over a costly joke the former cracked on the latter’s relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is widely believed that Umahi is the closest PDP governor to Buhari, and the governor himself has made no pretence about his closeness to the President, so much so that it was speculated in the past that he would defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But at a meeting of PDP governors and prominent party members as Wike was honoured by his Ikwere people in Port Harcourt last Saturday, a joke the Rivers State governor made of the Buhar/Umahi relationship struck the wrong cord in the Ebonyi State governor and almost resulted in fisticuffs between the two state chief executives.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Dave Umahi
The meeting was said to have begun on a convivial note and exchange of banter. Then entered Umahi, and Wike jokingly welcomed him, saying, “Ah, here comes Buhari’s man!”
The remarks elicited laughter from the other governors, but it did not resonate well with Umahi, who angrily asked Wike, “Who is more Buhari than you? I have many of your pictures with Buhari which are not known to the public!”
Umahi then threatened to make Wike’s pictures with Buhari public if he was provoked further by his host. Was Wike rattled? Those present said he was speechless. Umahi’s outburst ended the discussion on Buhari and the meeting moved to discuss other issues.