Amaechi: Responsible Governments Don’t Play Politics With Peoples’ Lives

Amaechi-GEJRivers State governor and chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has described the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, as the president’s own worst enemy.

Amaechi stated this in a statement he issued in Port Harcourt yesterday in reaction to comments made by the presidential aide in a recent interview broadcast live on Kaduna based private radio station, Liberty Radio, monitored in Abuja on Saturday.

Gov. Amaechi, who made this known in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, David Iyofor, stated that although Okupe is a non-entity in the current political calculation, he could not help but notice that he (Okupe) had elevated his act from an ‘attack puppy’ to an ‘attack dog.’

The governor also dismissed Okupe’s claim that he was seeking the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Joseph Mbu, because the CP refused to do his bidding.

The statement read, “In the past few weeks, we elected to ignore scurrilous statements from Okupe as we do not wish to wittingly or unwittingly, avail him with a sparring partner as he strives, though fecklessly yet again, to elevate his act from an attack puppy to an attack dog.

“Moreover, like most Nigerians, we believe that Okupe is irrelevant in the political equation that no serious-minded person should take seriously.

“It has become pertinent to notify the populace and Mr. President that the likes of Okupe represent the very worst of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

“With an aide and adviser like Okupe, President Jonathan certainly does not need any enemy. Indeed, Okupe is more than a handful. Pray, what kind of advice would an aide/adviser like Okupe give to Mr. President? The earlier Mr. President purged the Presidency of characters like Okupe, the better for us all.

“Okupe sank to a new low when he falsely and indecorously claimed that Governor Amaechi used the police to harass, intimidate and punish people unjustly and could not provide one instance or any evidence to back up his claims.

“He bragged about some phantom text messages from ‘ordinary people’ whose families have suffered grave injustice in the hands of Amaechi and, yet again, did not tell us the content and senders of the text messages.”

He noted that with such comments from a presidential aide, it has become glaring to Nigerians why “Mbu was still in the state and continued to act with impunity despite the calls by some Nigerians and the National Assembly that he should go.”

He added, “What interest does Mbu serve for Okupe and his co-travellers that they are bent on keeping Mbu in Rivers State? Let us remind Okupe and his co-travellers that it took a lot of efforts, resources and the strong political will and determination of Amaechi to restore peace, security and order to Rivers State from the dark days of pre- October 2007.

“To destroy all that in the name of playing politics portends grave danger for our polity and will do no one, more especially, the Presidency any good. No responsible government plays politics with the lives of its people.”