Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said his administration would amend the stateâ€™s Honours and Award Law to ensure that governors who did not govern well were not honoured.
The governor, who spoke yesterday at the Awards and Honours Night of the stateâ€™s Golden Jubilee Celebration, was reacting to the rejection of former Governor and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, of the award proposed for him by the state government.
Wike said Amaechi did not deserve to be honoured by the state having been indicted for corruption by the commission of inquiry set up to investigate the sale of valued assets of the state in the twilight of the last administration of the state.
According to him, â€œPermit me to also address the purported rejection of the award by former Governor and current Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. We are not unaware that there is a subsisting indictment from a Judicial Commission of Inquiry and attendant White Paper in relation to corrupt practices that trailed the hurried sale and management of proceeds of state valued assets in the dying days of his administration.
â€œThree weeks ago, the Court of Appeal affirmed the validity of that inquiry. You will agree with me that any person that is indicted by a Commission of Inquiry cannot be a fit and proper person to be bestowed with a state honours.
â€œAccordingly, we queried that nomination on that prejudice but conceded that his nomination under the state honours law was by his position as a former governor of the state.
â€œNow that our constitutional magnanimity in the spirit of jubilee is unappreciated, we think it is proper and in order to amend the law and dare its consequences than for this development to be undermined. This is because for us and as a principle, occupying the state highest office alone isn’t enough reason to warrant state honours. The ability to embark on good governance should be one and most paramount consideration.â€
While he said the awards would hold annually, especially during his administration, Wike said only deserving persons who have contributed to the development of the state and its people would be beneficiaries.
The stateâ€™s law on honours and awards, Wike said, was enacted under the administration of Dr. Peter Odili, but has not been implemented by past governors.