FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike has debunked claims that he declared support for Israel against Palestine in the ongoing regional conflict.
Recall that the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman, had on Tuesday, October 3, visited the FCT minister, days before the Hamas’ attack on Israel and the consequent and continued retaliation by the Jewish nation.
However, despite the gap between the visit and the eruption of conflict between the group and Israel, some people had accused Wike of offering Nigeria’s support to Israel.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Abuja National Mosque Management Board led by the Etsu Nupe, Abubakar Yahaya, Wike stated that he had no constitutional powers to determine Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with other countries, as such powers lie absolutely with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The minister further clarified that his meeting with the Israeli Ambassador was purely for agricultural partnership in the interest of farmers in the FCT.
He said, “I have heard from various social media platforms that we had a meeting, that we are doing this and that with Israel. I am here acting on the delegation of powers on behalf of Mr. President.
“I cannot determine a relationship between a country and another country. So, it is difficult for anybody to say I am doing this, I am doing that.
“Any foreign body that wants to have anything to do with Nigeria, it is the Minister of Foreign Affairs who will write to me and state that these people want to see me; it is simple. And when they come, it is in my position to say look, we want to partner with you. Take, for instance, you are going into agriculture, and we want to partner, then we tell you where exactly.
“In Abuja here, most of them have cultural farms, and we say look, it is our own desire to help anybody who wants to invest in Abuja, particularly in agriculture, in order to employ our people and in order to get more revenue. It has nothing to do with another country. It doesn’t work that way.
“When our people begin to think from different angles, people may not understand that it is not correct. So I would like to use this opportunity to say, look, we have to talk to our people. In fact, we must live harmoniously. We must live together to make sure that development is promoted.”