Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Former senator, representing Rivers South-east, Lee Maeba, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restrain the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, from acts capable of disrupting the peace of the state.
Maeba, who spoke with THISDAY at the weekend against the background of the palpable tension that had enveloped the state since the National Assembly and House of Assembly rerun elections on December 10, 2016, said Amaechi, a former governor of the state, had persistently challenged the authority of the state governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, warning that the minister’s conduct could exacerbate violence in the state.
The state had been in the grip of political tension since the 2015 general election, which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dominated to the displeasure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains, whose party won the presidential election.
Following judicial pronouncements, several legislative seats, including three senatorial seats, 12 House of Representatives and 22 state constituencies won by the PDP were annulled and a rerun ordered by the elections petitions tribunals.
The first attempt at rerun in March was inconclusive as violence forced some elections in some constituencies to be cancelled. But the December 10 elections were marred by massive violence, leading to deaths and wanton destruction of property worth millions of naira.
Maeba accused Amaechi of promoting the violence, saying the former governor derived his audacity from his present status as a minister and with the active connivance of the security agencies, including the military, the police and Department of State Services (DSS).
“I urge President Buhari to call his minister, Amaechi, who has being using the security agencies to destabilise the state, to order,” he said.
Speaking specifically on the rerun election, the former senator pointedly accused the police, the DSS and the military of colluding with the APC to manipulate the election, alleging that the security participated actively in “snatching ballot boxes and writing illegal results in favour of the ruling party.”
He said: “I am disappointed that the police and the military whose duty is to maintain law and order, collaborated actively with APC members and supporters to subvert the electoral process in the state.”
He, therefore, called on the president to investigate the alleged misconduct of the security agencies, adding that in the interim, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the DSS and the Chief of Army Staff should order their officers and men to desist from aiding the APC to undermining one government of the state.