Just as Governor Nyesom Wike prepares to be sworn in for a second term as governor of Rivers State, Jamil Sarham, general officer commanding (GOC) 6 division of the Nigerian army, has accused the governor of offering him bribe to compromise the last gubernatorial election in the state.
In a statement by Aminu Iliyasu, the division’s spokesman, Sarham said Wike declared war on him when he refused to accept the governor’s offer. According to him, he is a responsible officer who cannot be bribed by anyone.
Wike had accused Sarham of running an oil theft ring in the state. The governor also alleged that the army commander sent troops to assassinate him in his residence on February 15.
But Sarham described the allegations as “unfounded and false”.
He also denied Wike’s allegation that he leaked proceedings of state security meetings to criminals.
“Wike’s resentment against me is based on my choice of professionalism and integrity over the billions of naira offered me by the Rivers state governor to compromise the 2019 general election,” the statement read.
“My refusal to be bought over and the rejection of the hefty offer is the genesis of Wike’s hatred and vociferous criticisms of me.
“On the mischievous accusation against Maj.-Gen. Sarham of leaking proceedings of State Security Council meetings to criminals in Rivers State, Mr. Wike knows well that Maj.-Gen. Sarham is not a member of the Rivers State Security Council, neither has he ever approached the gates of Rivers State Government House, since his assumption of office as the GOC, 6 Division.
“Mr. Wike only came face-to-face with Maj.-Gen. Sarham on the 15th of January, 2019, during the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day parade at Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to challenge Wike to provide the public with any evidence of such meetings, with Maj.-Gen. Sarham in attendance. Wike’s allegation against Maj.-Gen. Sarham’s selfish involvement in illegal oil bunkering is another reckless, spurious and mischievous accusation.
“Hence, Headquarters of 6 Division wishes to request the Rivers governor to take the most civilised way of putting up a petition to the relevant authorities, to make a point.”