Monday, September 28, 2020 3:42 pm
Okafor Ofiebor Port Harcourt
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi came under attack of his successor in Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike for complaining about the state of insecurity and political intimidation in the State during a burial ceremony last week.
Also, a faction of Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC also attacked the Minister for claiming he is the best governor ever produced by the at the same funeral
Speaking during the funeral service of Justice Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte at Saint Augustine’s Anglican Church, Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State last week, Amaechi had lamented that the people of the state have been gripped by insecurity, but have failed to openly challenge the Wike administration over the issue.
“Everyone is scared. We are going back to when Ateke held sway. We are going back to the period where we run away from our people. We are back to a period when nobody can speak. But from next year, I will begin to speak, if nobody wants to speak,” Amaechi had said.
“In honor of Justice Karibi Whyte, Amaechi encouraged leaders, political and religious, to speak up against the ills of society.
“I’ll deviate a bit to the church and to the people. You’ve lost your voices, no body speaks again, the state has gone under, and nobody speaks. I was happy with the sermon of the Bishop, he indicted us, he told us, ask yourself, if you’re a governor, have you governed well, if you’re a politician, have you been able to carry your people along? ”
But while speaking on a live television programme transmitted from on the network of AIT from Port Harcourt on Monday, Wike said the Minister should have been in jail for alleging for locking up the judiciary while in office.
He also challenged the claim of insecurity by his predecessor, wondering how he was able to come to the state to bury late elder brother in Port Harcourt and his hometown, Ubima in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state about two weeks ago if indeed the State was not secure.
The Governor said it preposterous for the former Governor to compare the level of security in the state now and during his administration.
“During his tenure was Julius Berger doing construction projects anywhere in the state? Julius Berger does execute projects in any state that there is insecurity. Today, the company is constructing four Flyovers and other projects everywhere. Ask him whether when he was Governor if Julius Berger was executing here”,Wike said.
“With due respect to President Muhammadu Buhari, I think he shouldn’t have had such a man as a Minister. He (Amaechi) should be in jail for violation of human rights.
“How can somebody who oversees the locking up of the judiciary be talking? There was nowhere for people to ventilate their anger. Contracts were breached and people cannot go to court. People relied on police to settle their differences.
“A woman was detained the day she was to be given bail. A pregnant woman was to be given bail right on the day the courts were shut down. The woman gave birth in prison. Imagine that kind of a harrowing experience.
“And that is the man they say is one of the best Governors. No, he is not the best Governor,” Wike said.
On Amaechi’s investments in education, especially the building of model schools, Wike said the funds were wasted, adding that much more could have been achieved, “with the billions of naira”, spent on building new schools.
According to him, “What we are trying to do is that with the little resources we are getting, we are trying to renovate old schools through SUBEB.
“You know my former Governor; I worked with him, so I know him too well. When he is flying with people in the helicopter, he will be pointing his fingers and telling them see that school there, I built it. He is that kind of man. If he hadn’t started something, he would kill it.
“But when I see a project that will impact the lives of the people, I complete it. The Degema General Hospital which he started has been completed but when I see a political project, I have no business. So many roads he (Amaechi) did not do and the once he did not complete, I completed them.”
Meanwhile, Senator Magnus Abe faction led by Igo Aguma faction of APC in Rivers state has described a statement attributed to Amaechi at the funeral of late Justice Karibi White in which he ranked himself as the best to have so far governed the state as “most ridiculous”.
Aguma in a statement issued by his media adviser, Livingstone Wechie, said the best legacy and self-evident footprint the Minister left for Rivers state is the moribund state of the APC and the loss of two general elections due to “his selfish politics”.
“The statement credited to Amaechi, the Minister for Transportation wherein he boasted that he is the best Governor that Rivers State has ever produced is most ridiculous and remains a dilemma of the hoper.
“It is unfortunate that the best legacy and the self-evident footprints the Minister left for Rivers state is the way he has kept the All Progressives Congress APC moribund and we have lost two general elections due to his selfish politics,” he said.
“It is most regrettable that His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi chose to play himself up by making these vexatious remarks at the funeral of a most revered Jurist, Late Justice Adolphus Karibi-White who was a non-political judicial officer who stood for truth and equity just as he did in making sure that His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi became the Governor of Rivers State.
“However, the core values of truth and uprightness which the Judicial Icon lived and died for, runs contrary to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi’s who claimed to have been mentored by the late jurist yet ferries himself at absolute cross-purposes with the values that the most respected Karibi-White stood for.
“Whereas the APC in Rivers state is highly embarrassed that the Minister disrespectfully turned the funeral of this accomplished Justice of the Supreme Court to a political jungle, we are not surprised that the godfather of the party in Rivers state, in keeping with his 2018/2019 vows to destroy the APC in the state has again openly threatened further by giving a date to begin his vocal dance steps from 2021 as he has vowed to begin to “Speak up”, with the sole aim of serving his personal, diversionary and selfish political interest and nothing more pretentious, just to play out a script which only him understands”.