Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi
Produce evidence that I voted, Mimiko challenges Rivers governor
By Chuks Okocha and James Sowole
Leaders of the South-south Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday met over the intractable face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, especially over allegations that the governor wants to contest the 2015 election as a vice presidential candidate.
The meeting took place at the Asokoro residence of Chief Edwin Clark, where the convener, Clark, complained that Jonathan was constantly criticised because he is of the minority ethnic stock.
The meeting, at which the South-south leaders criticised Amaechi, was held on a day the governor’s counterpart in Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, challenged him to prove his allegation that he voted in the controversial Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election won by Amaechi.
In his opening address, Clark said: “Two issues are cardinal in my mind that deserve our review and discussion. The first is the mid-term performance report of President Jonathan’s administration and the second is the ongoing crisis between Governor Amaechi and the presidency, particularly since the so-called election for the leadership change at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
“And because the two principal names repeatedly mentioned in the media are from the south-south zone, we have a duty to look into the issue and take a position.
“We should necessarily intervene in whatever manner appropriate to bring peace to our troubled zone.”
Clark said it was a common fact that Jonathan inherited the current challenges in the country and was doing his best to solve the problems.
He added: “Mr. President is the most criticised and vilified public office holder in the history of this country.
“Can’t you see a clear nexus between his status as a minority from the South-south and the quest by those who believe it is their birthright to provide perpetual hegemonic leadership in this country?
“If others who presided over Nigeria ruled for eight years, the case of President Jonathan cannot be any different, not because he is a minority.
“Herein lie my worries. If reports that Governor Amaechi’s undying craze to be the chairman of the NGF is premised on his ambition to use it as a platform to become the vice-president in 2015, whose interest is he intending to serve, the interest of the people of the South-south or his personal interest?”
Clark urged the meeting to take a decision with a view, “to stopping Amaechi from pursing that madness. If he must contest in deference to his constitutional rights, let him contest for the office of the president because the South-south of today is not interested in any other office than the president”.
He said 17 traditional rulers had told him that Amaechi would not make any statement for a whole month.
“But when he returned to the country yesterday (Tuesday), what did he do? He went to the NGF and said that he would not step down. Here is a man whose party told him not to contest and he said he would.
“When we met in Asaba at an enlarged caucus of PDP in the South-south, he said he would hand over to the Kano governor and this governor is not our friend.
“We see that Amaechi is not working for the interest if the zone. If he likes, let him go and join the APC and let them go and make him become the president there,” Clark said.
Also speaking at the meeting, the PDP south-south chairman, Steve Oru, said the PDP was fortunate to have managed the affairs of this country for the past 14 years and it was clear that the transformation agenda of the president was lifting the country.
According to him, “We need to stand up for the president and pass a vote of confidence. Anyone who challenges his authority is joking with himself; democracy must not be allowed to run wild, it must be controlled. So I want all of us to stand behind him and support him to make sure that the zone is not ridiculed.”
Meanwhile, Mimiko Wednesday challenged Amaechi to substantiate his claim that he (Mimiko) voted at the disputed NGF election by producing the video evidence of the claim.
Mimiko threw the challenge while reacting to Amaechi’s claim that Mimiko voted at the election, stating that Amaechi should not hide under religion to cover up his anti-democratic disposition.
The governor insisted that nothing stopped Amaechi from proving to the world that he (Mimiko) voted by using the same video he has been using to tell the public that there was an election.
“If Amaechi is saying I voted at the election, then I think he should prove it to the whole world that I did.
“I sincerely believe that a process must have led to the declaration of the result contained in their few minutes video clip. That latter part can’t come in isolation. I challenge him to show the entire proceedings including where I voted,” he said.