The war of words between the Presidency and Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has been renewed over allegations that President Goodluck Jonathan is training snipers and keeping 1,000 people on a political watch list.
During a recent rally of the All Progressives Congress, APC, held at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Gov. Amaechi had affirmed that he was the number one person on the President’s watch list and that he had evidence to back up this assertion, but the Presidency dismissed the claim, describing the governor like a drunken man in a china shop, who was only interested in bringing down everybody with him.
The Presidency further dared the governor to prove his allegation.
The governor, who spoke through the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha on Thursday, said that he was awaiting the invitation of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
It would be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had, in a letter dated December 2, 2013, accused Jonathan of putting 1,000 people on a watch list and clandestinely arming a killer-squad. Obasanjo had also accused the President of training snipers ahead of 2015 but Jonathan has since denied these allegations, calling on the former president to provide evidence to back up his allegations.
But adding more fuel to the fire generated by the allegation last Saturday, Amaechi told supporters including the national leadership of APC at the rally in Port Harcourt that he was number one on Jonathan’s watch list.
He had said: “I read the President’s letter; he said Obasanjo should prove and name those on the list. I am number one on the list. I am number one”.
His Chief of Staff went a mile further, saying that Amaechi had sufficient evidence to back his statement.
He said, “The governor knows what he is talking about and this is not just a claim; it is what is happening. There are indices the governor will use to buttress his point. We will not make many comments now until the invitation from the NHRC comes”.
He stated, “One thing you should know is that Governor Amaechi does not say one thing today on an issue and say another thing tomorrow on the same issue. You are aware of the battle between us and the police. Considering all we have passed through in the hands of the police, would anybody doubt the fact that the governor is on the Presidency’s watch list?”
However, the Presidency in its reaction likened Amaechi to a ‘mad dog’ and dared him to go ahead and prove his allegation that he is one of the 1,000 persons on the alleged political watch list of the President.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, threw the challenge at the governor on Thursday.
He said, “Let him (Amaechi) go ahead and prove his claim. I don’t really want to talk about him because he has lost credibility. He is just like a drunken man in a china shop that wants to bring down everybody with him.
“Nigerians are aware of his antics. He has completely lost bearing and the support of the people. When a leader loses the support of his people while still in office, he will react like a mad dog. No sane man will be talking to the President the way Amaechi is doing”.