(By Chris K. Amadi) – The Office of the Deputy Governor of Rivers state has faulted a statement by a group known as Centre for Public Trust that Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry – Banigo, Rivers Deputy Governor, who is a public health professional is being sidelined in the fight against COV-19 in Rivers State, wondering why the group should be crying more than the bereaved.
A statement issued by Owupele Benebo, Head of Press in the Office of the Deputy Governor said that there is no iota of truth about Governor Nyesom Wike’s alleged sidelining of his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo as regards COVID-19 or indeed any programme or policy of the State Government, adding that she has continued to enjoy a cordial and robust relationship with the Governor from the inception of this Administration in May, 2015 to date.
While acknowledging that the Deputy Governor is a Public Health Physician, the statement adds that it is uncharitable to insinuate that Governor Wike would be jealous of his Deputy, when he has very impressive credentials himself, as a Life Bencher, a two-time Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Council, a former Chief of Staff, Government House, a former Minister of State (Education), former Supervisory Minister of Education and a Second Tenure Governor of Rivers State.
The statement further emphasized that Governor Wike has continued to demonstrate leadership in the country in the fight against COVID 19, being the first Governor in Nigeria to close his state’s boarders, and first in other initiatives against the spread of COV-19 in Rivers State.
“The upheavals about Governor Wike and his Deputy concerning COVID 19 is absolutely unnecessary, because the Governor himself cleared the air in a Live Television Programme that his Deputy has been contributing her quota in the quest to stem the COVID 19 onslaught.
“Our advice to them is simple: do not cry more than the bereaved and please do not try to be more Catholic than the Pope, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo is fine and is totally committed and loyal to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in his quest to protect the Rivers People against COVID 19”, the statement concluded.