Amaechi lament over insecurity in Rivers State
Amaechi, who was the former governor the South South state between 2007 and 2015, alleged: “A state with very high unemployment rate, where one man collects other peoples’ land and builds whatever he likes, yet no body is talking, signals serious danger.”
Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt at the state office of All Progressives Congress (APC) when some top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decamped.
The decampees were two former commissioners in Governor Nyesom Wike administration. They included Dr. Reason Onya and Charles Nwaorgu.
The minister said: “Rivers State is in danger completely, a state where properties are collected, somebody is just building every where and no body is talking.”
He regretted that the state “is listed among the highest unemployed community in Nigeria because someone is just building roads.”
Though he did not mention name in his speech that lasted 18 minutes, the minister but observers believed he might have been referring to the current administration in the state.
There has been no love lost between Amaechi and the governor since 2015 when Wike succeeded the minister.
Amaechi continued: “When I was a governor, I did not only build roads, I (also) built schools, (supplied) electricity, (established) farms and created employment. Rivers was not listed among the highest unemployed community in Nigeria.
“The reason crime is high in Rivers State is because of unemployment. That is the reason we had the Songhai Farm. Today, the Songhai Farm is gone. That is why we had the Banana Farm that they stopped in Khana.
“That is why we had fish farms and that is why we were building a farm in Etche. We were doing all those things to create employment for the youths. That is why we hired 13,200 teachers and that is why we sent our children overseas to study.”
Governor Wike, had during a grand reception by the Ogoni people at the weekend in Bori, Khana Local Council, declared that “thunder would fire anyone who would dictate to the state the one to govern it in 2023.”
But Amaechi, at the event, maintained that he would support a riverine governor as a person, noting that anybody was at liberty to support whoever he or she wants.
He went on: “As Catholic Christian, I didn’t swear by thunder. I respected my elders. I never looked down on people because I was governor. I never spoke carelessly. I spoke with facts. I employed young men who must give me facts on every speech I make.
“I never slept until you slept. I was (always) on the road. If you remember, I never placed curfew, I faced serious security challenges but I told the army and the police to leave the road. We dealt with them and when they noticed we were determined, they left. I never slept at Bori Camp because of insecurity.”
Reacting in a statement, Wike said it was deceptive for his predecessor to attribute insecurity in the Rivers to unemployment.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor queried: “Is unemployment fuelling insecurity in Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Ondo, Ebony, Imo and Niger states governed by the APC?”
Wike said if Amaechi had any “modicum of sincerity”, he would attest to the fact that “security is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government.”