APC canâ€™t be instrument of injustice, says Abe
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has opened what may be a new frontier in the war of words between him and his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, alleging that each commissioner and local government chairman in the state paid the erstwhile governorâ€™s wife, Judith, N3million and N2million monthly respectively.
He said while some paid N3million, others paid N2million to the Amaechiâ€™s wife.
He said he was aware of the payments because he was Chief of Staff to Amaechi and had knowledge of what happened then.
Wike, who made the revelation during an interview on Rhythm FM Port Harcourt on Monday, also declared that his administration would not relent in delivering projects that would improve living condition of the people.
The governor said Amaechi merely returned to the state to launder his image, in view of the collapsed APC structure in the state. Accusing Amaechi of running what he described as a â€œmorally bankrupt administration,â€ while he governed the state, Wike alleged that commissioners were also forced to make such payments to Amaechiâ€™s wife.
â€œWhen I was Chief of Staff to Amaechi, all local government area chairmen and commissioners were paying N3million and N2million respectively to Amaechiâ€™s wife monthly,â€ he said.
Wike explained: â€œHis (Amaechi) anger is that I have been given the name, Mr. Projects. I came to serve the people. You are comparing your eight years with my two yearsâ€
â€œâ€™My academic background cannot be compared with that of Amaechi; I have never had a poor grade. I went to University of Port Harcourt, where I studied Political Science. I went to Rivers State University, where I studied law. I went to Law School and I came out successfully,â€ Wike said.
The governor described as unfortunate the statements made by Amaechi on projects and programmes across the state.
He said: â€œIt is unfortunate that someone who was celebrating his 52nd birthday would tell Rivers people what is not correct. The immediate past administration abandoned projects by previous administrations. But we chose to complete projects that they abandoned. We completed all the projects that will positively impact the lives of our people.
â€œWe inherited N14.7billion as salaries and pensions from the Amaechi administration, which we cleared. N23.2billion loan from Zenith Bank was also inherited and cleared by us. Another agriculture loan obtained by that administration was cleared by my administrationâ€, he said.
He said the administration has improved security through the funding of the operations of security agencies and the regular payment of monthly allowances.
He informed that his administration inherited six months unpaid monthly allowances to security agencies, which has been cleared.
The governor said APC is dead in Rivers and the plot to use security agencies to rig in 2019 will not work as the people will resist any form of electoral robbery.
He explained that the administration is addressing environmental sanitation challenges as part of its urban renewal programme.
He assured the people that he would not disappoint them.
The governor said he would not make empty promises to the people because his administration is built on transparency, accountability and commitment to the welfare of the people.
On the abandoned projects inherited by his administration, Wike informed that contrary to claims by Amaechi, his administration paid contractors N6 billion to complete the Epirikom-Rumuolumeni road which was awarded in 2012 at the cost of N10.3 billion. He said road was less than 25 per cent complete at the time his administration took over.
The governor also said the Nkpogu bridges was awarded by the immediate past administration, but were not constructed because of a dispute between the contractor and that administration.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, has said the APC would never be used as an instrument of injustice.
There had been speculations of a rift between Abe and the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, over the senatorâ€™s perceived gubernatorial ambition.
Last week, Amaechi removed local government caucus leaders of the party perceived to be loyal to Abe, a move that many believed was to ensure that the senator did not realise his governorship ambition.
When confronted by journalists to state the true position of things yesterday in Port Harcourt, Abe said, â€œAPC is an idea that Nigerians came together to use to fight injustice. So, it cannot be used as an instrument of injustice.
â€œWe believe that whatever challenge that may exist in the party will be resolved in the interest of generality of members and justice will emerge for everybody. I donâ€™t really see much of a challenge in what is going on.â€