Thursday, June 19, 2014 3:26 pm
The Rivers state information commissioner says there is concern over the safety of Governor Chibuike Amaechi who is “being held hostage commando style” by security agents in Ondo state south-west Nigeria, according to a statement released on Thursday.
Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, Commissioner of Information and Communications to Governor Amaechi said he departed from Port Harcourt to Ekiti early Thursday, to meet with Governor Kayode Fayemi for a political rally ahead of the governorship elections holding in the state on June 21, but was ambushed by security personnel.
“Governor Amaechi as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ forum and as an APC governor and chieftain had left Port Harcourt this morning for Ekiti state where he was to join his brother governor in his last mega rally before the elections.” Semenitary said in the statement circulated on social media
She revealed that the governor attempted “to turn back and return to Akure where his chattered aircraft was parked but was chased and rounded by armed soldiers and security personnel in Odudu, Ondo state.
“According to the captain who led the operation, he had orders not to allow the governor entry or exit.
“In the meantime, the chattered aircraft that conveyed he governor has been grounded while the ministers of Defence, police Affairs and Minister of state for Defence have landed the Akure airport.
“The Rivers State government is especially, worried that the Federal government and President Jonathan have singled out Governor Amaechi for harassment and attack.
“While we hold the person and office of the President in utmost regards, we believe that it is unacceptable that the presidency would disrespect the person and office of an elected governor of a federating unit and consistently hound him. ”
She said: “We believe that it has become necessary to draw the attention of Rivers people, Nigerians and the international community to the situation in Rivers State.
“Only yesterday, in preparation for this tragicomedy, the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused Governor Amaechi of importing terrorists into the state and the region. They continued their diatribe by demanding that the governor of Rivers State be put under surveillance.
“The antecedents of impunity on the part of the leadership of the PDP are instructive and the party’s desperation to harm and stop anyone they perceive as major threat to their crumpling electoral fortunes next year is no longer news.
“The Rivers State Government will not be deterred in its efforts to deliver good governance and democratic dividends to our people.
“We appeal to all Rivers people appeals to all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and citizens in the state to remain calm in the face of these provocations.
Semenitari called on the security agencies to ” exhibit professionalism in their conduct of affairs,” and appealed to ” all well meaning people in Nigeria and around the world to please call the PDP to order.”
Earlier on Monday, the information commissioner also called attention to what she described as “a concocted interview” allegedly granted by the governor.
She said:”ordinarily the Rivers State Government would refuse to dignify such clear falsehood with any response,” explaining that “repeated enquiries from well meaning persons made it imperative to restate the often repeated position of the governor.”
—Restating his position—
“The All Progressive Congress is a party of progressives who share a common goal of safeguarding our nation and securing its future. Governor Amaechi is committed completely to these goals of the APC and would work assiduously alongside all party faithful to achieve this noble cause.
“The APC Convention of June 13th and 14th was a clear indication that the APC is fully reinvigorated and even more united than ever before. The national party officers who emerged at the convention are men and women of repute and it is delightful that the APC would be led in these times by a person of impeccable character and towering stature like His Excellency John Odigie – Oyegun, former Governor of Edo state.
“We understand why the People’s Democratic Party would be jittery and embark on a smear campaign as the emergence of these APC national officers is the first major political step and victory of the Party in its effort to bring about the desired change in leadership for our dear country come 2015.
Governor Amaechi would like to assure the new executive that the people of Rivers State would join them to sweep out the old order of corruption and confusion in our country as we embrace the new dawn of Change,” the statement said.