As the people of Rivers state celebrate the 50th anniversary creation of the state today, the Minster of Transportation and immediate past governor of the State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has turned down an invitation by the incumbent governor, Nyesom Wike to be part of the celebration.
Mr Ameachi who was shown a publication of the Rivers State government indicating his name as one of many others to be given awards by Nyesom Wike, rejected the award even as he denied any communication from Nyesom Wike and/or Rivers State government in this respect.
It is reported that the Golden Jubilee Celebration had attempted on several occasion to reach to the former governor but he had consistently refused to respond to the committee.
The Minister in an unsigned statement from his media office, said whatever Wike claims to be giving to Amaechi as an award is a poisoned chalice that has been unequivocally rejected by the minister.
The statement reads in part, “The purported award itself is a contradiction of monumental proportions, a contradiction that can only come from a warped and perverted mind. From day one as governor, Wike has made it his sole, one-point agenda to attack, abuse, insult and falsely denigrate Amaechi, his immediate predecessor and erstwhile benefactor.”
According to the Minster since Wike becomes a governor he spends most of his time making reckless, deeply irresponsible malicious, false allegations against him.
He claims the Governor Wike has attempted, to malign and destroy the outstandingly superb performance and legacy of his administration.
“ what is the bases or criteria for Wike to give an award/honour to a man he (Wike) has rashly attacked and called all sorts of unprintable names in the past two years For Wike to do a 360 and give an award to a predecessor, he (Wike) has consistently but misleadingly and deceitfully called Satan, Judas, non-performer, thief and only this week a sponsor of cultists, shows evidently that Wike suffers from a grave but rare form of psychosomatic malady”
The Minister in the statement asked what he will tell Rivers People when he goes to collect an award from Governor Wike.
The State Commissioner for Information, Dr Austin Tam-George, in a reaction said the state government never set out to give any special
award to Mr Rotimi Amaechi for meritorious service.
He said there is a category in the award structure for former governors of the State. As a former governor, Mr Amaechi fell automatically in that category.
According to the Commissioner the award was never meant as a validation of Mr Amaechi’s horrendous administration was personally indicted for stealing billions of public funds, by a court-approved panel of inquiry set up by the state government.
He said, “The State government is about to begin a prosecutorial process against him in multiple jurisdictions, in Nigeria and abroad.
And no award would have stopped that process. We must confess that as a government, we wrestled with the moral horror of giving any kind of
award to a man whose government was no more than a criminal syndicate.”
He said he award which the former governor is rejecting was an automatic category and that Amaechi is an unfortunate fact of the state’s political history.
“His rejection of the award is therefore a huge moral relief for the administration, and the people of the state.” He said.