Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the federal government is shielding former governor of the state and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, from prosecution because he financed the 2015 general election for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also berated the former governor for allegedly superintending over a vicious insecure system that led to the assassination of prominent Rivers indigenes.
The governor also stated that the failure of the former governor to fund the operation of security agencies for over six months during his second term contributed to the degeneration of security in the state.
Wike, who spoke yesterday during a special appearance on Channels Television Sunrise Programme, pointed out that the former governorâ€™s closure of courts for two years negatively affected security in the state as security agencies were overwhelmed by the challenges of managing suspects while Rivers people were denied avenues to ventilate their grievances.
Â He said: â€œIt was under Amaechi that I was almost assassinated when I was his Chief of Staff. Under him, Ignatius Ajuru was assassinated, Charles Nsiegbe was assassinated. Yet he says the state is not as secured as it was during his term. The courts were shut down for two years. No despotic leader in the world had ever shut down courts. Amaechi entered the Guinness book of records for this notorious act of denying people access to justice.â€
The governor stated: â€œJustices came to say that Amaechi came to procure judgment. If it is a federal government that is sincere, they will not want to do anything with Amaechi.
â€œIn APC, once they lose a case, they berate the judiciary.Â It is only when they win that they praise the judiciary.â€
The governor added: â€œAmaechi used part of the $309 million proceeds of the Rivers State Gas Turbine sale to fund the APC which is why the Party rallies around him to shield him from prosecution in spite of his several indictments.
â€œThe presidential panel has not invited us to substantiate our ownership of the Ikoyi billions and hasnâ€™t released the report as well. So we are waiting for that before taking our next steps.â€
On Rivers State Golden Jubilee, he said the celebration was a huge success.
He said: â€œAfter the successful completion of the Rivers Golden Jubilee, We look forward to attracting an investment of $300million into the state in the next three years.
â€œWe used the Rivers Golden Jubilee to showcase the state as a tourist Haven and conducive for business. We also honoured foreigners who believed in us and invested in the state.â€
The governor said the extant law which stipulated that all former governors were entitled to the state award was the reason why Amaechi was nominated.
â€œThe Rivers State Honours Law was created by the Peter Odili government and every former governor was expected to receive an award. It was the basis for considering Amaechi for such irrespective of public outcry. But the recipient rejected it as a poisoned chalice taking away the moral burden on the state. The law is now being amended to ensure its merit is emphasised,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has accused Amaechi of using incitements as a strategy to win sympathy from Rivers people.
The Chairman of the PDP in the state, Felix Obuah, said this in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, in reaction to Amaechiâ€™s recent comments on the security situation in the state.
According to the state PDP boss, Amaechi has adopted as a strategy the penchant to cause unnecessary stir whenever there is relative peace and stability in the state aimed at deceiving impressionable minds into seeing him as a redeemer he has never been, is never and will never be.
But unfortunately for him, Obuah noted, the Rivers people are now wiser and have seen the difference between a stir-crazy politician of Amaechiâ€™s stock and a natural and people-driven leadership of Wike whose landmark achievements in only two years in office have dwarfed the entire Amaechiâ€™s eight years in office.
â€œHow can one who claims he has the interest of his people in mind and plans to direct the political future of the state only finds joy in castigating people including his superiors and causing disaffection even among his own party members each time he sneaks into the state,â€ Obuah said.
He also said: â€œRather than attract development projects or telling the people what programmes he has to move the state forward and empower our numerous young school leavers looking for jobs, Amaechi is only interested in inciting the people and boasting over whom he will endorse for one political office or the other and those whom he will pull down at all cost in an election two solid years away from now.
This is the mark of a sadist and it is high time Amaechi knew that he has lost relevance in this State and should honourably shut up.â€
The state PDP boss therefore enjoined Rivers people and residents in the State to remain steadfast in their support for â€œa caring and welfarist administrationâ€ of Wike and discountenance what he described as babbling utterances of a drowning Amaechi.