The Rivers chapter of the All Progressives Congress has replied to Governor Nyesom Wike’s allegation against Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
Wike who was commissioning a project Wednesday had accused the Buhari-led administration of protecting the Minister of Transportation from prosecution for corruption.
Wike added that Amaechi misappropriated proceeds from the sales of some the state assets.
He wondered why the Federal Government continued to protect Amaechi from prosecution for his alleged inability to account for $308 million from the sales of the state-owned power plant and other critical assets when he was Rivers Governor.
Wike said: “People gave you opportunity. You sold our properties, everything. And people are talking in this state because of the government that says they are fighting corruption and protecting people.
“You (Amaechi) sold our property for $308 million and kept for us $208,000. That is the kind of people parading themselves in government, for a government that says they are fighting corruption, shame,” Wike said.
However, the APC in a reaction by its Spokesman, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke said it was shocking that the Governor without any iota of proof could accuse the former Governor of Rivers State of selling off assets of the Rivers State and pocketing the proceeds.
The party said “Governor Nyesom Wike is the head of a Government and the alleged offenses committed by the Minister of Transportation while he served meritoriously as a Governor took place in his State.
“We wonder how the Federal Government, which is waging a war against corruption could be accused of protecting our revered son from prosecution.
“Wike set up a committee headed by Justice George Omereji as he then was. That Committee, it is on record, found nothing incriminating against the former Governor of Rivers State.
“Accordingly, the attempt to employ the use of spurious allegations and propaganda to dent the image of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi who was on the verge of being screened by the Senate as a Minister collapsed like a pack of cards.
“Once again Governor Wike has re-emerged with allegations that are unsubstantiated. The laws of our land hold that a man is innocent until he is proven guilty. Similarly, those same laws say that the burden of proof lies not on the shoulders of the one who is accused. The onus of proof lies on an accuser who makes such accusations.
“In other words, the burden of proof in this instance lies heavily on the shoulder of the Governor of Rivers State who is in no way prevented from seeking relief in court. Nothing can be gained from the antics of someone who hides behind an immunity clause while in the office to denigrate others.
APC further said that”Talking about corruption, we recall that the first time the EFCC visited the Rivers State under the administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, it was because of Wike who was the Chief of Staff. It is possible that this Governor may have forgotten that Senator Magnus Abe who was then the Secretary to Government, detailed to secure his release from detention by the EFCC, was unfortunately detained. The records show that both men were eventually bailed from the EFCC by Senator Andrew Uchendu.
The party cautioned that those in positions of authority are required by convention to be guarded in their utterances, and are similarly required to exhibit a high sense of decency and decorum. It regretted that, unfortunately, these rare attributes that provide the moral high ground on which true leaders stand are not norms that are associated with Governor Nyesom Wike.
The party noted that it watches as the Governor brazenly drags the image of the high office that he occupies to the abyss.
“Governor who is apparently becoming power drunk has crossed the red line. He appears to us as someone who is in a hurry to open his mouth in public before he thinks.
“A Governor who should be happy that all hands are on the plow in order to open up the economy of Rivers State and speed up its development has become rather taciturn.
APC stated further “Wike has repeatedly berated those of us in the APC for failing to attract federal presence to the State of our birth. Now that the Minister and his associates in Government have moved to shower the State with mega projects, what is the Governor’s problem?
APC alluded that the problem Wike is that he is abjectly jealous of the exploits of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
“Governor Wike is behaving like the biblical king of Israel, King Saul, who threw his spear at David because of the praise that was being heaped on him by the people of Israel.
“Wike cannot stand the fact that in spite of his efforts to pull down Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers people and their Nigerian counterparts are ignoring him. Wike cannot understand why Amaechi’s image remains solidly intact despite all the lies that he continues to tell against an innocent man.
“Let us say here and now that Amaechi will not dignify Wike with a response. Rivers people know that their son served them well as a State Governor. Nigerians know that Amaechi is doing well as a Minister. Besides, Amaechi has God on his side and so a thousand Wikes can do very little to destroy him.
APC, however, told Governor Wike to worry about what awaits him after his tenure.
“He is wondering how a man can govern the State for 8 years and be clean as he is probably finding it difficult to have the same status in just 6 years.
“He is vexed because Rivers people can’t remember that he was also a Minister because there was nothing to show for it. He is vexed because after telling Rivers people that Amaechi didn’t do anything, he is now a beneficiary of part of the money Amaechi expended in improving facilities that are federal. Wike is vexed because he already has a feeling of how the Rivers people are rating him in comparison with Amaechi. It is a shame that he is losing his cool as a result”.