•Says Amaechi’s comment incitive to violence
Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has denied allegation by his predecessor and former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, that the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, worked under him as an Executive Secretary of TETfund, when he (Wike) was a Minister.
Wike, however, said Amaechi’s opposition to the reappointment of Yakubu because he was nominated by someone from the camp of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, could cause public incitement and a threat to national security.
Wike, who stated this yesterday in a statewide broadcast on the outcome of the March 18th, 2023, general election in Rivers State, said Amaechi’s outburst that the just conducted elections by INEC was the worst in Nigeria’s history was ludicrous.
His words: “The truth was that Mahmood Yakubu never worked under me. Both of us worked in the Federal Ministry of Education. He was the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, supervised by the Minister of Education, while I was the Minister of State for Education.
“At any rate, was Mahmood Yakubu INEC’s chairman in the 2015 general election in Rivers State, when we defeated him and his political party as a sitting Governor and Director-General of Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidential Campaign?
“Was it not the same Mahmood Yakubu that conducted the 2019 general election, which the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari won? Was he working for Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, when, as a sitting super Minister of Transportation, he could not win 25% for President Buhari in Rivers State in the 2019 general election?”
The governor wondered why it took this long for Amaechi, who served as a minister for over seven years under Buhari to speak out about his opposition to Yakubu’s reappointment.
He observed that in his frustration, Amaechi had allegedly denounced and claimed to know so much bad things about the federal government that he served for seven years, regretting that Amaechi lacked the courage to tell Nigerians what he claimed to know about Buhari’s government, which he alleged had failed.
According to him, “In saner climes, law enforcement agencies should have invited such a devious and malignant character for hate speech, public incitement and threat to national security, public safety and order. By his mischievous statements, Rotimi Amaechi attempted to attribute, locate and blame his infamous political failures and frustrations in Rivers State on the INEC chairman.
“In the 2015 general election, we defeated him as a sitting Governor and Director-General of the Buhari campaign in Rivers State. In the 2019 general elections, we beat him as President Buhari’s super Minister and Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign.
“He could not even influence 25% of the votes for his party, even after using the army to cause mayhem and attempt to rig the election. In 2023, we defeated him as an ordinary person. This shows that Rotimi Amaechi cannot win any electoral contest with us in Rivers State.”
The Rivers governor stressed that the outcome of the 2023 general election in Rivers State has allegedly exposed Amaechi, the APC governorship candidate, Tonye Cole and his Social Democratic Party counterpart, Senator Magnus Abe, as political paperweights and rejects.
“The APC Gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Cole, lost in his Ward and Local Government Area. He lost in almost all electoral units, wards and Local Government Areas of the State. Tonye Cole never ran any effective political campaigns. His party was fractured beyond redemption. He was literarily waiting for his godfather and business partner, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi to magically make him Governor.
“Rotimi Amaechi also lost to the PDP in his community, Ubima, his Ward and the Local Government Area. Both forgot that Rivers people knew them as an evil partnership that diverted the State’s $50,000,000.00 and declined overwhelmingly to vote for them,” he said, noting that the electoral fate of the SDP candidate, Abe, who lost woefully in 15 out of 17 wards in his native Gokana Local Government Area, was also not better.
“Magnus’s vaunting ambition was to have a chance to be named on the ballot as a gubernatorial candidate of any party, having twice been denied the APC by his former friend, political leader and associate, Rotimi Amaechi. He achieved this limited and useless ambition when he hurriedly decamped from the APC to the SDP,” he said, mocking him.
He however, challenged Abe to explain to the world his relationship with Lebara Nduh, the INEC Director of Security, who availed him and his supporters with fake INEC security tags.