Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, of "sponsoring" militants against governors in the Niger Delta State.
Mr Wike, who spoke on Friday in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of the Trade Union Congress secretariat building, said Mr Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, was unfairly taking on the governors of the region "just because they did not attend the inauguration NDDC headquarters building".
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) headquarters was inaugurated by Mr Akpabio, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Apart from Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, no governor from the NDDC operational states participated in the ceremony.
Mr Akpabio, in his speech, said some governors who could not account for what they were doing with the 13 per cent derivation funds were frequently making demeaning remarks against Mr Buhari, "for the region to move forward".
"There is no need for people to have the paraphernalia of security – you have the police, you have SSS, you have all. And those are the ones that help you to sleep in the night and then you come out to say that the presidency is deceiving people.
"Without even the president, you can't sleep (at night) even if you are a governor. Some of them have not asked themselves what have we done with the 13 per cent derivation, but yet they will open their mouth(s) and talk about the presidency in very demeaning terms," Mr Akpabio said, while appealing to the Niger Delta people to cooperate with Mr Buhari's administration.
"I want Mr President to ignore those things," he added.
Governor Wike's reactionMr Wike, in response to Mr Akpabio's remark, said the former Akwa Ibom governor did not have the moral right to question what the governors were doing with the 13 per cent derivation fund.
"We knew when Akpabio was governor what he was doing," Mr Wike said.
"In fact, he saw himself as god then. Now, he has the temerity to insult South-south governors. We will meet one day. If he did well, why did he fail the Senate election? If his people love him, why did he fail the Senate election? Ordinary Senate? And you will come and talk to us!"
The transcript of Mr Wike's remark is contained in a statement from the Government House, Port Harcourt.