The Presidency has faulted Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike’s criticism of the presidential pardon granted former Governors Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame last week.
The two ex-Governors are serving jail terms for corruption.
The presidency described Wike’s condemnation of the pardon as “bolekaja politics”.
Governor Wike had described the presidential pardon extended to the former Plateau and Taraba Governors as unfortunate and unfair.
The Council of State last Thursday approved presidential pardon for 159 out of 162 serving jail terms for various reasons, among whom are the two former Governors.
Wike described the action as a drawback for the fight against corruption.
However, reacting to the Governor’s outburst, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, expressed surprise at Wike, wondering why he would condemn a decision he was meant to have been part of.
In a triple-tweet on his verified Twitter handle, the presidential spokesman revealed how the decision was presented to the Council, which includes all the 36 Governors by President Muhammadu Buhari and it was passed.
Though Wike was absent at the meeting, his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, joined virtually on behalf of the State but turned off visuals at some points.
“I do not see the moral justification for Governor Wike’s criticism of the decision of the government to pardon for Governors Dariye and Nyame at a meeting to which he was duly invited but did not attend.
“The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo who joined the Council of State meeting virtually switched off her camera so it was difficult to determine whether she sat behind the dark screen or just walked away after first joining.
“If the Governor felt so strongly about the pardons, the right was for him or his representative to sit through the meeting and assert views. This did not do. A press release after the meeting is bolekaja politics,” Shehu said