Minister of Transportation and immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has expressed disgust and disbelief at the responses of his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike, during a televised interview in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
During the interview, which touched on a wide range of issues, Governor Wike among others, accused his predecessor of orchestrating violence in the state in a desperate bid to grab power; claimed glory for the successful completion of some projects in the state, which he said were abandoned by Mr. Amaechi and vowed not to “touch” the monorail project based on the advice of the people of Rivers State and which had gulped over N45 billion.
In a statement issued by his Media Office on Tuesday, Amaechi noted that Wike was playing unhealthy politics with the state’s development.
The statement reads: “We watched with disgust and disbelief the recent television interview of Governor Wike, the excerpts of which had also been used in some newspapers. It was the typical Wike, twisting, butchering and turning the truth upside down, and in most cases telling outright deceptive lies in his failed bid to denigrate, tarnish and rubbish the towering image, person and laudable landmark achievements of Amaechi.
“Most troubling was Wike’s propensity, without any qualms whatsoever, for playing politics with the safety and security of the lives of Rivers people. This is indeed most worrisome. It is no secret that Wike plays politics with development, the welfare and well-being of Rivers people. But no government should play politics with the safety and security of its citizens like Wike is sadly and shamelessly doing.
“Governor Wike claimed that the brutal political killings and murder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) members and other hapless citizens in the state are cult-related or a result of cult clashes. What cult wars is he talking about? Since he claimed to have security reports, we challenge Wike to tell Rivers people the cult group that Franklin Obi, the APC Ward chairman in Omoku, belongs to, which led to his being gruesomely, beheaded and butchered, alongside his expectant wife and teenage son.
“Or, did Franklin suddenly become a cult member because he had the guts and courage to host a resoundingly successful ward meeting of APC faithful in the same ward as Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sstate chairman, Felix Obuah, just a few days to the rerun elections?
“We challenge Wike to tell us the cult groups and the cult wars that led to the killing of the innocent National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Chukwudumeibi Okonta, on the rerun Election Day? Was the Corps member a cultist or victim of a cult war, or yet another victim of politically motivated killings in Rivers State?
“Wike must tell Rivers people the cult wars that led to the brutal murder of hundreds of Rivers people since the so-called election, which made him governor, and the cult groups that all those that have been murdered, belong to. Wike’s cult wars/cultists claim is akin to insulting and spitting on the graves and memories of all those murdered and their families.
“With pity, we watched as Wike tried to compare the political killing of the late Okonta and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ad hoc worker on the rerun Election Day in Rivers State to the fire that occurred at the home of the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kano State days after the elections of 2015. How pathetic! Even for Wike, this is a new low.
“On the Rivers monorail project, Governor Wike said he would not touch Amaechi’s monorail and that the state has told him not to continue with the project. Can someone please tell Wike that the monorail belongs to Rivers State and it’s not Amaechi’s private monorail? Pray, Governor Wike, which Rivers people told you not to touch the monorail project? Is it the same Rivers people that have consistently praised the project and see it as a catalyst to jump-start the local economy and place the state at the forefront of transport infrastructural development in Africa?
“Or, is Wike aggregating the jaundiced views of the coterie of court jesters, who hang around him daily, as the opinion of the people of the State?
“It is sad, very sad that Wike has elected to play politics with this laudable project that was almost completed before Amaechi left office.
“Governor Wike also described several ongoing projects in the state when Amaechi left office as ‘abandoned projects’ that he claimed to have completed or about to complete. He specifically mentioned the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road, which connects the Island of Opobo to Andoni and the rest of the state. What a shameless lie! This project was ongoing and was almost completed as at May 29, 2015. “May we also remind Wike that the Eagle Island-Diobu Road, which he once claimed to have been abandoned, was 90 per cent completed with just the final course of coal tar remaining as at when he succeeded Amaechi?
“It’s repudiating that Wike would even attempt to rubbish and destroy the laudable projects and achievements Amaechi made in the Health and Education sectors as governor. Shamefully, what has happened in the past months since Wike became governor is that he has neglected the model schools and health facilities built by Amaechi and allowed them to rot away, taken over by weeds and grasses, in tandem with his policy of not wanting to touch Amaechi’s projects or build on Amaechi’s enduring legacies.
“Governor Wike, these projects belong to Rivers State and its people, not Amaechi”.
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