Minister of Transportation and immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike of shielding wanted militants and cultists by hiding them in Government House, Port Harcourt.
The ex-governor made the allegation yesterday when he appeared as a guest on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television breakfast programme.
Amaechi further alleged that the 23 caretaker committee chairmen were known militants.
The minister, who said he parted ways with Wike, his Chief of Staff between 2007 and 2011, because of violence and corruption, predicted that Saturday’s National and State Assembly re-run elections in the state would be peaceful in view of the assurances given by security agencies.
According to Amaechi: “Wike is protecting killers; all his caretaker chairmen are known militants. The police recovered arms and ammunition from the home of Soboma Jackrich (chairman of Asari-Toru Council) and Jackrich is now living in the Government House.
“Wike must stop supporting violence by not encouraging the criminals, especially cultists and militants. Wike must allow persons who break the law to be punished. My relationship with Wike became sour, as my Chief of Staff, because of his violence and corruption.
“If a governor wines and dines with cultists and militants, he will embolden the criminals. As Rivers governor, I never sat down with cultists and militants. I did not support the Federal Government’s amnesty offer to repentant militants because you do not compensate criminals.
“Chief Godspower Ake (former Rivers State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party) begged me to manage Wike as my Chief of Staff so people won’t notice there was a problem. Chuma Chinye (ex-Commissioner for Commerce and Industry) begged me to recommend Wike for a ministerial appointment in 2011. I accepted so as not to appear stubborn and that’s the worse decision I have made in my life”.
The minister lamented that the people were helpless in view of the deteriorating security situation in the state, even as he accused Wike of failing to protect lives and property, which he swore on oath to do.
Amaechi maintained that cultism could never be attributed to members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), whom he described as God-fearing, insisting that only APC members were being killed.
He challenged Gov. Wike to show Nigerians any PDP member killed in the recent violence bedeviling Rivers State.
He also denied harassing a policeman, a claim that was corroborated by the Rivers Police Command spokesperson, Muhammad Ahmad.
Ahmad said: The attention of Rivers State Police Command has been drawn to the news making the rounds that Chibuike R. Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, on March 12, along Port Harcourt-Omagwa Road, arrested and manhandled a policeman.
“The command wishes to state that the story is untrue and the act did not happen”.
Meanwhile, the Rivers Government has slammed Mr. Amaechi over his allegation against Governor Wike, saying the former governor ran a failed and dizzyingly-corrupt government for eight years.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr. Austin Tam-George, who spoke on behalf of Mr. Wike, alleged that “Amaechi has been indicted for stealing public fund by a court-approved Judicial Commission of Inquiry in Rivers State.
“His antics are a diversionary campaign to evade justice, through the rigging of the rerun legislative polls this weekend, but he will be defeated and brought to account”.
Gov. Wike added that his predecessor was fighting for his “political life right now”, saying he understood his deadly desperation.