The leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi has admonished the state governor, Nyesom Wike to accept his failure as the chief security officer of the state and quit trying to pin acts of violence on the APC.
Amaechi spoke at a press briefing in Port Harcourt, Thursday, addressing Wike’s ‘malignant and calculated outburst’ alleging that the APC intends to visit violence on the state. Governor Wike had in his state broadcast on Thursday evening accused Amaechi and the APC of plotting to incite violence in the State. Wike also tried to make political capital of the stampede that led to the death of some persons at the APC Presidential rally in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Amaechi said, “I listened to our governor today. Again, like the child he is, rant and say we intend to visit violence on the people. All of you who have worked with me would know that I don’t like violence, because if you kill someone, you cannot replace him, you can’t bring him back to life. You can replace houses, you can replace cars and all that… You certainly can’t replace life.
“We lost 15 persons. I was touring people’s houses, trying to identify with their pain. If the governor can remember when President Goodluck Jonathan came here and we lost 23 Nigerians in Rivers State, the same stampede, I couldn’t eat. I was watching them take lunch, I couldn’t, I was crying because those 23 persons are gone whether for good or bad just like these 15 persons will not come back. So I’ve never and I will never support violence. But I don’t also support injustice.
Amaechi wondered why Wike is ‘trying so hard to avoid elections and enlisting different institutions to aid his cause. He also called on INEC to exonerate itself from being accused of trying to help the PDP by doing the needful and obey the stay of execution order by the court of appeal and relist Rivers APC and its candidates for the elections.
“An example is the fact that there is a stay of execution granted by the court of appeal in Port Harcourt. Just because the INEC chairman was the head of TETFUND under Wike when he was a minister of education, he has refused to implement that judgement. He doesn’t have the right to choose which one to implement and which one not to implement. Obviously, he’s among the institutions trying to assist Wike become a second term governor without election. We understand, but again, we believe in the judiciary, the uprightness of the judiciary, I hope so, and you heard the President when he said that the injustice will be addressed.
“Why is Wike avoiding an election if he is that popular, why is Wike using Magnus Abe to avoid an election? That’s the question to ask. But like I told Rivers people, it is not over until it’s over. We are going to go out on Saturday to vote President Buhari. If INEC decides to obey the stay of execution, then we are ready for the legislative election on Saturday. But if the INEC chairman will not obey the stay of execution because he was a worked under Wike in the Ministry of education then so be it… We’ll continue to pursue the rights of the people to choose who their leaders will be. You can’t force a leader on people,” Amaechi said.
On the issue of violence, Amaechi continued, “Wike talked about violence. During my time as governor, you were free to go out at night, I drive out with just one car at night and go back home safe, but now as minister I can’t drive around without loads of security and he is happy to be a governor in that kind of state. As a governor, no minister can threaten me, so if he feels threatened, he should stop me, he has the executive powers to. Wike asked that they arrest me when he was a minister and you know that the brigade commander then came after me. “
In contrast, he said, “Now nobody has been arrested because of election. In 2015 all APC leaders were in detention. The agent of the president, Emma Deeyah just came out of INEC office to buy food, they took him away. We thought he had been kidnapped only to be brought out after the day of election and that’s when we knew police took him. Now let Wike say if anybody has been arrested since we came in. It shows that the government of president Buhari understands what rule of law is, not rule of man. So tell Wike that I’m enjoying his fear, he’s scared. It’s easy to be a coward. I’ve governed this state before, all of you know I’m not a coward. What he says is happening now is not one third of what happened to me and I bore it… So there is a difference between boys and men.
“…The governor superintends over security meetings, so what is he looking for other than the fact that he just wants to accuse APC and the leadership of APC in the state. We assure Nigerians and we assure the governor and every Rivers man to go out and vote peacefully. We expect the police and the army to provide the necessary security so everybody can go out and vote. We will not allow Wike to repeat what he’s been doing. He is not ashamed that he likes people to die. We will not allow him to continue to kill. For the first time in Rivers state people are killed and beheaded, no defence, he is not worried about the lives of people.
“When we were fighting criminals in this state, I used to drive out with the brigade commander (then Brigadier General Bello) at night, we slept at 5am and woke up at 9 to go to work and we kept this state safe. The campaign then was that you can sleep with your two eyes closed while ours were open. So please tell the governor to stop killing Rivers people and Nigerians who live in Rivers state. Even those we sent on scholarship, he brought them back, and business is suffering in Rivers State,” Amaechi lamented.