The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has expressed his displeasure with the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Niger Delta, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Oko-Jaja, for failing to acknowledge his presence as FCT Minister during a church service in Port Harcourt.
The incident occurred at the rededication service of the 2023/2024 Legal Year of the Rivers State Judiciary.
At the event with Wike was the State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, with the meeting serving as their first encounter since their fallout became public.
Wike, who was angry at not being recognised, warned that anyone who is not a politician should be careful not to be treated like one, emphasising that those who drag themselves into politics will be “rubbed in the mud of politics.”
“I saw the preaching; I was watching the preaching of Bishop Oko-Jaja yesterday. I watched the prayers you prayed,” Wike said.
“As a Minister of the FCT, I came to the church; not even the courtesy of recognizing that the Minister of FCT came in, and I laughed.”
He further stated that when he was Governor of Rivers State, the Anglicans were praising him.
“When I was Governor here you were all praising me here and there, saying I did this, I did that; fake!” Wike exclaimed.
Wike reiterated that he is a politician and not a clergy, and that they each have their own roles to play.
“I tell people. I am a politician and not a clergy. We have our own roles,” he said.
“As a clergy, you have your own role. I have never asked anybody how do you preach. I have never told anybody this is what to preach.”
Wike warned the clergy to be careful not to drag themselves into politics, as they would be subjected to the same treatment as politicians.
“If you are not a politician and don’t want what happens to politicians to happen to you, be careful. Because, once you drag yourself into politics, the mud will also be rubbed on you,” Wike said.
“I am a man of character. I wouldn’t have become the minister of FCT, a non-member of APC to be the minister, you know that I’m a man of character. Mr President knows and that’s why he made me the minister of FCT,” Wike said.
The fiery politician revealed that he was deeply offended by the bishop’s behaviour and called on him to apologise.
“The bishop has a duty to respect all members of his congregation, regardless of their political affiliation,” Wike said.
Meanwhile, the bishop delivered a sermon titled “Fear Not,” where he encouraged judicial officers to fearlessly uphold the truth in their duties and to overcome the spirit of fear.