Rivers State APC Asks The President To Discountenance Corruption Allegation Against Ex-Gov Rotimi Amaechi And Appoint Him But Wike Says No Way
Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has mounted a last ditch image-laundering appeal for embattled former governor of the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore allegations that he misappropriated about N70 billion belonging to the state.
In a statement signed by its State Chairman, Dr. Davis Ibiamu Ikanya, the Rivers APC said the allegations were orchestrated by Gov. Nyesom Wike with aim to tarnish Amaechi’s image.
But firing back, Gov. Wike said it was surprising, and disappointing, that APC would advocate that such weighty corruption allegation should be discountenanced because Amaechi was involved. According to the statement, which was also made available to The UNION, Amaechi is “clean and untainted by corruption.
A television documentary, aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT), by a Rivers state based non-governmental organization, The Integrity Group, had accused Amaechi of “corruption, criminal breach of trust, unlawful enrichment and conversion of over N70 billion of state resources”.
The documentary followed paid advertisements in newspapers wherein the same group made same allegations against the former governor, who has however refused to clear his name of the allegations.
But in its statement, the Rivers APC said: “We make bold to say that if there is any clean and spotless former governor in Nigeria, that person is Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, CON. Anybody who knows Amaechi well enough would readily testify that he is an honest, sincere but courageous gentleman, a first-class patriot who is ever ready to go the extra mile to see that Nigeria becomes a better place for the present and future generations”.
It accused Gov. Nyesom Wike of working at tarnishing Amaechi’s image noting that “this satanic documentary is only part of Wike’s propaganda war against Amaechi for which the care-taker governor of Rivers State has earmarked billions of naira in his wicked plot to destroy and decimate the person and character of Amaechi”.
The party “dismissed the allegations against Amaechi as a replication of the documentary terrorism Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deployed against now-President Muhammadu Buhari during the campaigns for the 2015 general elections.
“We are happy that Amaechi has through both the immediate past Secretary to the Rivers State Government, George Feyi, and the Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, and others denied any form of corruption against him by Wike and his cohorts. “It is our conviction, therefore, that denying Amaechi appointment based on the wicked propaganda by Wike and his cohorts is like believing all the falsehoods against Buhari during the campaigns,” the party said.
But in a swift reaction, Gov. Wike said that Amaechi was merely seeking for straws to clutch on as his political career nosedives. The governor also washed his hands off the TV documentary, and other publications against his predecessor.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, the Rivers governor said it was embarrassing that the leadership and membership of Rivers State APC would continue to embrace and encourage corruption despite the glaring cases of looting, mismanagement of resources and the diversion of Rivers State funds to sponsor political activities traced to the former governor.
“The former governor had the opportunity to defend himself before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the sale of valued assets of the state, but chose to stay away. “Contrary to the claims by the Rivers State APC in their ridiculous press statement, immediate past governor Amaechi ran a failed administration that promoted unbridled corruption, blatant theft of state funds and the unfortunate looting of government facilities across the state.
Despite getting over N3 trillion during his ill-fated administration, former governor Amaechi left a vast number of abandoned projects, unpaid salaries and pensions and a state crippled by insecurity.
-Tony Ita-Etim, Port Harcourt