The Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike, has made it clear that he is not Igbo and will never change change his identity for whatever reason.
Governor Wike said that he belongs to the Ikwerre ethnic group from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor area of the state.
In an interview with Dele Momodu, the Governor said: “I’m not (an Igbo). You see, people must understand things. We are from the Eastern part of the country. Nobody can deny that fact. People interpret my name as ‘Weekay’. It means a new born baby. They said Wike means ‘a strong person’. I don’t care.
“My name is Ezebuwon. Now, nobody can deny the fact of our affinity with the Igbos. Nobody can. Take for example, in the Benin,. There is “Akpata” in Edo and “Apata” in Yoruba. Are you now saying the Akpata in Edo is the same with the one in Yoruba. No! They may have a relationship but that does not mean that you are them.”
“People, when they want to do something… Assuming I’m an Igbo (although no conceding), I’m now in Rivers state. So, because I’m an Igbo in Rivers state, I should allow criminals from my area – Igbo – like they say – to kill security agents. Is that what they say?”
“I’m not one politician who will change his identity. I will not change my identity. I will not! People should understand that there is a difference between the Akpata in Edo and Apata in the West. After all, there is no one that said they came (to this world) on their own.”