The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike has challenged Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State to contest for the Rivers East Senatorial election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2015 to test his perceived popularity in the state.
Wike, who threw the challenge at the Obirhe-Ehie, Apara Kingdom Secretariat Complex, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, while addressing traditional rulers, elders and women of Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality at the weekend, also denied using his children to swear an oath of loyalty to Amaechi when the governor forwarded his name as a ministerial nominee from the state.
Wike said: “The only thing Governor Amaechi can do for me to forgive him is to contest for the Rivers East Senatorial District election in 2015. He will be hiding behind someone if he contests for the vice presidency.
“If Amaechi vies for the Rivers East Senatorial District election, I will forgive him. If he can summon the courage to contest for the Rivers East Senatorial District election, I will definitely forgive him. But, he will fail woefully in the four Ikwerre local governments. Some people are deceiving him. The earlier Amaechi realises that the better for him. We are waiting for Governor Amaechi and the APC at the polls in 2015.
“The reason Amaechi decamped to the APC is to be in control of the party structures. Now that he is in charge of the structures of the APC, let him summon the courage to contest for the Rivers East Senatorial District. We are ready and waiting for him”.
Speaking on the 2015 presidential election, the minister, who is believed to have his eyes on the Rivers governor’s seat, said Amaechi could not determine who would be the next president or governor of the state.
“The people of Rivers State will vote for President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term rather than vote for a vice president from the South-South, which Governor Amaechi is interested in”, Wike said.
While dismissing a statement credited to Amaechi, who reportedly said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led federal government is corrupt, Wike stressed that Amaechi’s administration is stinking of official sleaze and cited an instance.
His words: “Governor Amaechi’s government is very corrupt. Amaechi’s claim to the theories and doctrines of Karl Max is not beyond his throat. Now and then, he will say the federal government is corrupt. If there is one government that is naked and stinking, it is Amaechi’s government. I have told him several times to stop pretending. When the time comes we will talk, and you will be shocked to hear how corrupt his government is.
“The former Commissioner of Sports gave Emeka Beke, a contract to develop a small field for N50 million. He did not execute the contract to the satisfaction of the Rivers State government. Governor Amaechi shouted when we inspected the project, saying, ‘I will deal with you, this is corruption. This is unacceptable to my government’.
“Then Governor Amaechi awarded a construction contract at the Greater Port Harcourt for $50 million. He asked us to join him to inspect the project. We got to the place and there was nothing on ground to show that a project is ongoing. $50 million dollars was gone. That is about N7 billion.
“When we got back to Government House, the then Commissioner for Environment asked Governor Amaechi: ‘You accused the young man who did not properly execute the development of the field contract awarded at the cost of N50 million of corruption. What do you think of this man who has abandoned a contract of $50 million?
“Governor Amaechi replied that the contractor was naïve. We were all shocked. When N50 million was involved, it was corruption and he threatened to deal with the young man, but when $50 million was involved, Amaechi said it was naivety. That is Governor Amaechi’s anti-corruption crusade for you”, Wike disclosed. Speaking further, the minister cautioned: “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. At the appropriate time we will talk. We will talk when electioneering campaigns starts. When we start to talk, believe me you will be shocked at the revelations that we will make. Governor Amaechi is putting up a façade. He is not what he claims to be in public. He is very corrupt. Please, I want the press to quote me on that”.
On the allegation by the governor that he swore with the names of children not to betray him if he pushed for his appointment as minister, the Supervising Minister of Education challenged Gov. Amaechi to state publicly what oath he (Wike) took for standing for him (Amaechi) in securing his governorship mandate in 2007, adding that his former boss spoke out of frustration.