Wike Clarifies Meeting With Israeli Ambassador As Agricultural Partnership, Not Political Allegiance

Daud Olatunji

Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has addressed recent speculations surrounding his October 3 meeting with the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Freeman.

 In a statement delivered during a meeting with the leadership of the Abuja National Mosque Management Board, Wike categorically denied taking sides with Israel against Palestine, emphasizing that he does not possess the constitutional authority to determine Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with other nations.

Wike asserted, “I have read from various social media platforms that we had a meeting and that we are doing this and that with Israel.

” I am here with delegated powers, acting on behalf of Mr. President. I cannot determine a relationship between Nigeria and another country. So, it is difficult for anybody to say I am doing this, I am doing that.”

The Federal Capital Territory Minister went on to clarify that his meeting with the Israeli Ambassador was solely focused on agricultural partnership, aimed at benefiting farmers in the FCT. 

He highlighted the agricultural potential in Abuja and the desire to attract investments in this sector to generate employment opportunities and increase revenue.

“In Abuja here, most of them have cultural farms, and we said 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 get more revenue. It has nothing to do with another country; it doesn’t work that way,” Wike stated.

The meeting between Wike and Ambassador Freeman occurred several days before the eruption of conflict between Hamas and Israel. Nonetheless, some had accused Wike of offering Nigeria’s support to Israel based on the timing of the visit.

During the meeting, Ambassador Freeman expressed Israel’s willingness to collaborate with Nigeria on employment generation, technology development in Abuja, and agricultural partnerships. 

Wike reciprocated this commitment by highlighting Nigeria’s interest in Information Technology and proposed establishing a technology village in Abuja. 

He also explored the potential for creating a technology-driven farm to employ the youth.

In addition to the agricultural focus, Wike sought Israel’s assistance in enhancing Nigeria’s technological security measures to bolster national security. 

The Minister underscored the importance of living harmoniously and promoting development.

Wike’s statement aims to dispel any misconceptions regarding his intentions and reaffirm his dedication to economic development in the FCT.

 It emphasizes the need for clear communication on diplomatic matters and the imperative of fostering harmonious relationships with international partners.

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