Immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday revealed how he survived a poison attack, a plane crash and a cancer scare while in office. He also disclosed why the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio gave him N200million.
Wike, in a special Thanksgiving Service organised by his family at the St. Peters Deanery, Rumuepirikom, Obio-Akpor, Rivers State, revealed that the poison attack took place at the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in December 2018.
He said the poison ravaged his internal organs, affected his liver and kidneys and almost killed him but for God’s interventions.
Hundreds of dignitaries, who attended the service, listened in shock as the former governor disclosed his kept secrets.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was represented at the event by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The service was attended by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio; Deputy Senate President, many senators, over 35 members of the House of Representatives, many former Governors, former ministers, royal fathers, captains of industries and some members of the National Working Committee of PDP.
Narrating how he almost died of poisoning, Wike said: “God was in charge, everybody who knew how we came to power in 2015, knew it was turbulent. But God saw us through. When you are in office, many people think things are going well with you. Nobody wants to find out the problems you are facing as a human being.
“In December 2018, it was a day my former Chief of Staff was going to have Thanksgiving. I was to attend that the Thanksgiving. From that Sunday, I never came down from my room. It was bad. But those who attended the January 1st state banquet of 2019 will know that I never spoke that day. I just sat down there and told the Deputy Governor to speak on my behalf. I thought it was over”.
Wike said he was flown to a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon at midnight where doctors after running series of tests told him that his liver and kidney were all gone.
“I didn’t know I had been poisoned at our party’s secretariat. The doctors, after some treatments, returned and told me my organs had started working again”.
He said the doctors discharged him after about a week and asked him to return home, noting that he altered his itinerary during the campaigns for his second term.
The former Governor said everybody became a suspect as he decided that he would not enter any party leader’s home during the course of his campaigns.
He recalled that the second incident of God’s intervention in his life was when his wife called him during his presidential primary campaign and told him that she had been diagnosed of cancer.
Wike said he called the leaders in his campaign team including the G-5 Governors that there was a problem and he was planning to quit the race.
But he said his wife encouraged him to continue with his campaigns that all would be well.
The Governor also recalled that after the primary when he was on a trip to Abuja in the company of his wife, he got information that a mysterious fire gutted his wife’s room and destroyed everything she had as a woman.
Despite all the challenges, he said: “Being a strong woman, my wife never showed it. But today, my wife is hale and hearty. The cancer incident was the one I knew that God had done all for me”.
Wike further recalled that on another occasion, God saved him and three other leaders from a plane crash.
He said while they were travelling to Abuja after the presidential primary, one of the engines of the aircraft exploded 15 minutes after take-off.
“15 minutes after take off at the airforce base, we heard an explosion. They locked the cockpit. One engine was gone and the pilot said it was safer to turn back to Port Harcourt. Before we landed, there were many ambulances and fire service trucks lined up. We landed safely by the Grace of God. I didn’t tell anybody,” he said.
The former Governor said he kept most of the incidents secret to avoid frightening his supporters, who could begin to behave anyhow.
Wike said he decided to thank God for allowing a peaceful transition in Rivers and granting him victories in all the elections held in the state besides his joy at surviving the poison attack.
“Ask my colleagues how they felt that their candidates didn’t make it as their successors. Even those not sworn-in yet started tormenting their predecessors. But nobody is tormenting me”.
The former governor said there was a gang-up in his party at the national level to arrest him if his decisions had failed, adding that at some points, his loyalists were scared that they would all be in trouble.
He disclosed that all the forms for all elections in the party were acquired by him, noting that “no candidate of the party paid a dime to buy forms”.
“I paid for every form. Nobody would say he paid any money to buy forms from governorship to House of Assembly. We agreed to work as a team. In the House of Assembly only one form, Senate same. We didn’t want to have anything called post election crisis,” he said.
Wike said all the governorship aspirants signed an agreement drafted by the party elders that they would support the choice of the party for the governorship poll
Wike said: “When somebody was chosen, there was a gang-up. They moved to Abuja and started plotting how they would arrest me after winning at the centre. All evil plots against me failed.
“Those close to me were worried. But I told them to have faith they would not be finished. God never abandoned us. Today, we have a governor, who is our successor. I don’t look back because I know I am protected everywhere”.
Besides the shocker on how he survived the poison attack, Wike disclosed why he supported Akpabio for Senate Presidency, saying the former Akwa Ibom Governor defied criticisms to back his governorship ambition in 2015.
He said Akpabio donated N200 million to his campaign, adding that one good turn deserves another.
He said: “When I was running in 2014 and 2015, he came out and supported me. He gave me N200 million for that election. That is why I said one good turn deserves another. I supported him this time and I thank God he won”.
Wike thanked all members of the G-5 and Integrity Group for the roles they played during the presidential election.