The Presidency on Friday said Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State should be held responsible for the fracas that broke out in the state House of Assembly on Tuesday.
Speaking in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, said it was erroneous for someone like the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and opposition political parties to heap the blame of the crisis on President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, when the governor himself was the one who instigated it.
According to him, rather than being the mastermind, the President was the victim of Amaechi’s alleged mischief.
Gulak argued that the disagreement among the state lawmakers would not have degenerated to that extent if the governor had not gone to the premises contrary to the advice of the state Commissioner of Police.
He alleged that it was the presence of Amaechi and his security aides that emboldened the Majority Leader and other lawmakers loyal to him to beat the anti-Amaechi lawmakers as shown in the widely-circulated video of the mayhem.
“It is mischief to say that the President is behind the crisis in Rivers State. The President cannot be part of the crisis in that state. He is a man of peace.
“The problem in Rivers State is the internal wrangling of the administration of the governor. It is sad that when there are crises in the assembly, the governor will physically drive to the House of Assembly to partake in the crises.
“The fact is that in this crisis in Rivers State, the governor should be held responsible because if he did not go to the house of assembly, those guys wouldn’t have been emboldened to beat people up,” Gulak said.
Gulak noted that the Rivers crisis was not the first time a crisis would be recorded in a state house of assembly. He cited the example of Adamawa State, where the assembly was shut for about three months because of a crisis, but said the governor of the state did not appear physically in the assembly and yet the crisis was resolved.
He stated that the way out was for all parties to abide by the constitution provision which provides for separation of power.
Gulak said Soyinka’s public comment on the matter was made out of ignorance.
He said, “Soyinka, without knowing the fact, just went public to blame the President and his wife for what is happening in the state. He is an elder statesman, I don’t want to take issues with him but I will say that he should be responsible.
“I am not aware of any plan to impeach the governor and the President is not aware even if there are such plans. But what I know is that the house of assembly intended to change their leadership, rightly or wrongly, they have a constitutional right to do it if they have the majority.
Reacting to Gulak’s statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the Rivers State Governor, Mr. David Iyofor, described the President’s aide as the “Wada Nas of our time, who should be ignored.”
Iyofor dismissed Gulak’s claim that Amaechi was responsible for the crisis in Rivers and maintained that the governor was not the five lawmakers that attempted to impeach the Speaker.
“Gulak’s statement lacks the necessary logic. Was Amaechi one of the five lawmakers who attempted to remove the Speaker in a House of 32 members?
“Was Amaechi responsible for shooting teargas into the Government House? If Gulak does not know what to say, it is better for him to keep quiet and allow peace to reign,” the governor’s media aide said.