Although, the APC did not win Rivers State, keen political watchers argue that the leadership of the party should consider the immediate past governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, for an appointment as compensation for his contributions towards the party’s victory.
In fact, it is being speculated that he has been penciled for the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). At a recent event in Abuja, Amaechi publicly claimed that President Buhari, is begging him to accept appointment as Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria or Secretary to the Government of the Federation, a claim which has however set tongues wagging particularly within the camp of the opposition.
The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), has described Amaechi’s claim as tantamount to glorifying corruption, and which also exposes the President’s ‘fight against corruption’ as anti-people and targeted at only members of the PDP. The PDP, while insisting that the former Governor of Rivers State, Mr Amaechi, is corrupt and has raped the State in an extreme manner, expressed reservations over the President’s stance, and his tolerance of the APC chieftain, who had at several fora boosted that he is a dependable ally of the President and also a prospective ministerial appointee for either the Defence Ministry or Ministry of Petroleum.
Similarly, the party was also amazed at the manner Amaechi’s alleged corrupt and fraudulent actions were continually being celebrated by his lieutenants, the APC folks in Rivers State and Abuja. In like manner, the PDP recounted the alleged illegal disbursement of N2 billion Agricultural Loan, non-execution of the contract for the construction of the Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Specialist Hospital after the payment of the sum of $39,200, 000, illegal withdrawal of N96 billion from the Rivers State Reserve Fund, illegal sale of Omuku, Afam, Eleme and Trans-Amadi Gas Turbines, as well as the sale of Olympia Hotel. The PDP also recounted the fraudulent practices surrounding the Mono-rail and other phony projects abandoned in the state after billions of naira were reportedly paid to ghost contractors by Mr. Amaechi. Also worrisome, the PDP recalled how under the state chairman of the APC, Mr. Davies Ikanya, when he held sway as Commissioner for Special Duties, billions of naira earmarked for the rehabilitation of Rivers indigenes, who were deported from a neighboring country to the state were mismanaged, an incident that led to him being disgraced from office.
The party also challenged the governorship candidate of the APC in the state, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, to explain what happened to the billions of naira earmarked for the ‘Operation Zero Potholes’, which allegedly became a conduit used to siphon government funds under his watch as Commissioner for Works, during the Amaechi’s administration. The PDP maintained that the former governor and members of the his party are corrupt and lack the qualities to continue to hold public offices in a government that claims to be fighting corruption and making ‘desired change’ in governance.
The Rivers PDP insisted that Amaechi’s quest for public office was purely driven by corruption, wondering why Amaechi would claim that President Buhari has been begging him to take up ministerial position, when he was yet to clear corruption allegations against him.
This, according to the party, amounts to glorifying Amaechi and corruption, if his claim, at a public function in Abuja that Buhari was begging him to accept a ministerial appointment is true. The party further said, “We make bold to say that under Amaechi as Governor, corruption was legalized and institutionalized. There are obvious evidence attesting to the validity of this position and the PDP is fully ready to provide prove of its claims.
“Looking elsewhere from Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and concentrating only on those who worked under former President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the ‘fight against corruption’ amounts to witchhunt and selective prosecution.
“As a President who “belongs to everybody and for nobody”, Nigerians would expect that you demonstrably commit yourself to doing the right thing by not having sacred cows and allowing Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and other APC chieftains who are found to be corrupt to clear themselves by facing investigation and prosecution by credible anti-graft agencies, not those seeing to have compromised their actions. Doing this, will further earn you credibility and trust. But in a swift reaction, the Rivers State chapter of the APC accused the state governor, Nyesom Wike, and the state chapter of the PDP of desperation to pull down Mr. Amaechi, declaring that the move was an exercise in futility.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, Dr. Davies Ikanya and made available to newsmen, the party said, “Afraid of the rising political profile of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Caretaker Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and the battered PDP leadership in Rivers State are expending their energies on a doomed plot to drag Amaechi to their inglorious and irrelevant political level.
“Their sole aim is to rubbish and denigrate Amaechi and present him as unworthy of appointment into the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. They have applied and adopted every unholy and sinister strategy in their devilish plots against a man who did much to build up their political profiles but they will not suceced.
“The latest insidious ploy is to engage other misguided PDP leaders like Prince Uche Secondus, the Acting National Chairman of PDP, to device and coordinate the devious plot to ridicule and portray Rt. Hon. Amaechi as a corrupt person and put him in bad light before the public so that he will not be appointed into the cabinet of President Buhari.
“In this regard, Emma Okah and Spokesman of Wike, Mr. Opunabo Inko-Tariah, have been recruited to reach out to certain persons within and outside Rivers State to initiate, fabricate, conjure, concoct, formulate and contrive a damaging report bordering on alleged corrupt practices of Rt. Hon. Amaechi and circulate same to individuals and institutions within Nigeria and abroad with a view to denting the incorruptible character and rising profile of Rt. Hon. Amaechi in order to blackmail and put pressure on President Buhari not to appoint the former governor into his government.”
“Wike hastily set up a probe panel with the sole agenda of declaring Amaechi a corrupt person, forgetting that he, Wike, is corruption personified judging by his corrupt practices during his days as Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government, his tenure as the Chief of Staff under Rt Hon Amaechi and during his hi-tech corruptive regime as Minister of Education. “We are happy to note that all these are efforts in futility as President Buhari cannot be deceived by Wike and his cohorts whose evil plots against Amaechi are informed by the fact that Amaechi saw to the victory of President Buhari during the March 28th Presidential polls.” As both parties trade accusations and counter accusations, Nigerians are waiting and watching the outcome and the release of the ministerial list .
– There is no doubt that the immediate past Governor of Rivers State and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, was instrumental to the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, at the last general election, reports Peterclaver Egbochue