Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:42 am
* Say Amaechi’s shoes too big for Wike to fit in.
* Wike angry that close aides are leaving him and
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Governor Nyesom Wike has come under attack from the loyalists of Rotimi Amaechi, his predecessor over his recent claim in a television programme that his predecessor did not achieve much while he was the governor of Rivers State.
Wike had in the live Television interview alleged that Amaechi wasted the resources of state during his eight year tenure as Rivers governor and as such, should have been in jail and not appointed a Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari.
But supporters and loyalists of the Minister, in a series of response on Tuesday said the attack on Amaechi, the Transportation Minister, was because of frustrations Wike has been experiencing in recent times in his efforts to govern the state.
Spokesman of the Rivers chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, loyal to Amaechi, Ogbonna Nwuke, said the frustrations have manifested in the loss of key members of PDP to APC in recent times.
Nwuke, a former lawmaker representing Etche-Omuma federal constituency in the House of Representatives and a former Rivers Commissioner for Information noted that, “It is on record that for the past few weeks, the Governor has lost his close Associates to the APC. I’m sure he is holding the Minister of Transportation accountable to what is happening to his party”
“About three weeks ago, Dr. John Bazia, a prominent PDP member and a former lawmaker representing Tai Local Government at the Rivers House of Assembly, and Wike’s immediate past Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs and Commissioner for Special Duties respectively, led his supporters to dump PDP, for (APC) under the able leadership of Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“The two-time lawmaker was received by Dr. Batam Ndegwe, APC Chairman in Tai Local Government area. Dr. Bazia was commended for the bold step that he has took to join the Rotimi Amaechi APC family in Tai, adding that he is looking forward to a good working relationship between Bazia and the APC family in Tai.
“On his part, Dr. John Bazia, who said he was glad and proud to be associated with APC under the leadership of Rt.Hon Amaechi, added that he has great respect for the Honourable Minister Amaechi and promised to work with everybody on board to move APC Tai forward.
Hon. Chisom Promise Dike, a member of the House of Representatives representing Tai-Oyigbo-Eleme Federal Constituency had also recently decamped from the PDP to APC in a dramatic fashion by rejecting the exotic Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) Governor Wike recently gave to all members of the National Assembly from the state.
The lawmaker had said he could not accept the Governor’s gift because of the deplorable condition of all the roads in his primary constituency, Oyigbo.
Dike lamented that the roads in Oyigbo were death traps and impassible, adding that the people of the area were suffering untold hardships because of their inability to access Port Harcourt, the state capital.
According to Dike, “The state of roads in my constituency made me to reject the car gift from the Governor. I represent Eleme-Oyigbo-Tai. We have made a lot of representations to the government, but no step has been taken.
“My former party is in power in Rivers State alongside other indigenes from our area, but we could not effect any change.”
The lawmaker complained that this was in spite of the fact that the Chairman of Rivers PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor and other party leaders hail from the local government.
He said this was because everything about development stops on Governor Wike’s table and the governor has his priorities.
Also, on August 6, the House of Representative member representing Etche-Omuma federal constituency at the National Assembly, Hon Ephraim Nwuzi also defected to APC.
Nwuzi who contested under PDP in the 2019 general elections and won a seat at the Federal House of Representatives joined the Etche APC caucus meeting at the residence of the leader of party in the area.
Speaking at the meeting, Hon Ephraim Nwuzi, promised to formally join APC with his supporters at a later date. He promised to remain loyal to the minister of Transportation as the Leader of APC.
Nwuke also dismissed the claims by Wike that Amaechi was indicted by a Judicial Panel of Inquiry, saying that all transactions done during the administration of the former governor followed due process.
“That Panel found nothing on Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. It’s on record. And I am aware that those records duly certified by Justice George Omereji are there for everyone one who is willing to see. So the remark made by the Governor on the Power sector was not backed by facts. On the contrary, under Amaechi’s administration there was a Procurement System put in place.”
Another Amaechi loyalists, Marshal Obuzor and Obiaruko Ndukwe in their Facebook posts advised Wike to allow the public to compare his performance with that of his predecessor and pass their judgment.
Don Kassidy, another supporter of Amaechi told Wike that his predecessor was a governor par excellence. He also reeled out some of projects undertaken by Amaechi when he was in power in his Facebook post.
He noted that while Wike had concentrated on development of Port Harcourt and Obio-Akpor local government area, Amaechi spread his efforts to all parts of the state.
“Amaechi constructed Agip, Eleme, Elelenwo-woji flyovers. Amaechi constructed Obiri-Ikwerre interchange flyover, which is like putting the whole of Garrison, Rumuokoro and Rumuoji flyovers together. His administration dualized Azikiwe- ikwerre road. He dualized Ada George road. Amaechi dualized Rumuokwuta – NTA road. Amaechi dualized Olu- Obasanjo road. Amaechi dalized market junction to Nwaja to roundabout.
“Other projects Amaechi constructed include: D-line and Oroworukwu internal roads. Amaechi dualized Peter Odili road to Slaughter to Okujiagu to Rumuwoji. Amaechi dualized Slaughter to YKC. There are many more in terms of roads and flyovers that Wike government has been boasting of.
“We do not need to talk about his achievements in area of Agriculture, Health, Housing, Employment, Human Capital Development, Education and so on.
He further noted that under Wike’s administration, Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBC, rated Rivers as having the highest unemployment rate in the 36 states of the Federation. Let’s concentrate on where Wike claimed to be his area of strength. Please somebody should tell me Wike’s achievement in this 2 Local Government Area where he claimed to be concentrating on”.