By PRECIOUS IBINABO DAVIDS, Port Harcourt
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-South region of the country, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has decried alleged campaign of calumny mounted against the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, by the duo of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and the Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe.
Eze, in a statement issued, signed and circulated in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, also charged the people of the State, especially those from the Rivers South-East Senatorial District, not to give in to the daily harassment against their conscience and hearing by the duo of Governor Wike and Senator Abe, in an attempt to use contrived negative ethnic persuasion against the Minister who served as the immediate past Governor of the State, but should be objective enough to see through the duo’s manipulation and remember Amaechi’s love for them in all he has brought to the State and the District.
Eze’s statement came against the backdrop of recent consistent media attacks on the Minister by Governor Wike and Senator Abe, especially in regards to the recent decision of the Federal Government to dissolve the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the action which saw to be removal of all Board members, including the former Executive Director (Finance), of the board, Mr Derek Mene.
It would be recalled that Senator Abe had consistently accused the minister for the removal of Mene by the Federal Government, especially as his counterpart in the dissolved board, the former substantive Executive Director (Projects), Engr. Samuel Adjogbe, was reassigned to be a member of the temporary management team as Acting Executive Director.
But Eze, reacting to recent misrepresentations in the media by the duo of Governor Wike and Senator Abe, said the character casting against the Honourable Minister of Transportation had fallen flat in the face of facts and objectivity, noting that sincere people and indeed the people of Ogoni and the entire Rivers South-East Senatorial District know better that Amaechi had shown much more interest and love in their affairs than any politician, even among those from the region, had ever done in history.
According to Eze, Abe had once confessed that he is “the highest political investment of Amaechi” and affirming the Senator’s statement, Eze said “truly he is, if one considers that Abe, who came into Rivers State House of Assembly in 1999 on a political party platform unpopular in Rivers state politics, until Amaechi influenced his appointment as the Commissioner of Information under Dr Peter Odili’s a PDP-led administration. After this, Amaechi appointed him the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, after which Amaechi influenced his election as the Senator representing the South-East Senatorial District of the State. Amaechi stood by him to get him reelected while Governor Wike did his best to frustrate his reelection bid.
“Amaechi in further demonstration for his love for this new face of Judas Iscariot asked him to suggest any of his supporters to be appointed into NDDC to the detriment of other well qualified APC members who have suffered and laboured much for the party. Abe submitted the name of Mr. Derek Mene and was subsequently appointed as the Executive Director, Finance and Administration (EDFA).which sadly Senator Abe and his group have been using to deny every form of assistance to every other APC members who doesn’t belong to his group.
“In the case of Governor Wike, it is a known fact that Amaechi, during his tenure as the Governor of Rivers State, appointed him as his Chief of Staff and left in his hands all the political issues of his administration, thereafter he nominated him as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is baffling therefore that Amaechi could become a target of destruction and humiliation in the hands of the duo of Wike and Abe, whom Amaechi had invested so much in to make them whatever they have become politically in Nigeria.
“The duo, in their attempt to desecrate and decimate his political clout, and incite the Ogoni against him, whose love for the Ogoni and the South-Eastern senatorial district is infectious. Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s statement captured it more aptly when he stated, ‘I decried the political wickedness being meted out to Ogoni people by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’.
“What sin has Amaechi committed against the Ogoni or any section of Rivers state? It is only because he pleaded with his good friend Abe to join him and other APC stakeholders to rebuild the party on the mission to rescue the State”, he explained.
Eze further recalled that Amaechi, while Governor of Rivers State, did his best to circulate both developments and appointments to all sectors of the state without any basis of biasness, lamenting that today those who had benefitted immensely from the Minister’s large heartedness are doing everything within their powers to destroy Amaechi, saying “but God will not permit it.
“The Eastern Senatorial District of Rivers state can’t and will not complain that Amaechi was or has been unjust to the zone in view of the fact of the immense, healthcare, educational, agricultural and other facilities that were set up during the administration of Amaechi in the state. Many major and minor roads were attended to while all the Secretaries to the State Government (Abe and Dr George Feyi) were all appointed from the zone; including the Commissioners for Works (Dr Petetside and Chief Giadom) plus other key commissioners and appointments were zoned to the district.
The Deputy National Secretaries of APC were all elected from the zone (Dr Ngofa and Chief Giadom) courtesy of Amaechi
“The above mentioned appointments were zoned to Ogoni and the Senatorial District, apart from the office of the EDFA of the NDDC, which Abe used to play ethnic politics, frustrating any form of development in Opobo/Nkoro, Oyibo, and Andoni local government areas, all parts of Rivers South-East talkless of other local government areas of the state by NDDC and principally using it to sponsor unwarranted attacks on the person and personality of Amaechi and key leaders of APC in the state”, he pointed out.
Furthermore, Eze said “not minding limited opportunities, Amaechi was still able to attract the following appointments to Rivers South-East: Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside (PhD.) as NIMASA’s D.G; Ambassador Orji Ngofa as Ambassador to Netherland; Joe Poroma as Federal Civil Service Commissioner; Joy Nunieh and others, are all from Rivers South-East senatorial district.
“By May 29, 2019 an Ogoni great son will be sworn as the Deputy Governor of Rivers state in the person of Chief Victor Giadom, so under what premises are Wike and Abe inciting this peaceful ethnic nationality to raise arms against a man whose love for them is infectious if not to demonstrating their wickedness against a man whose inputs in their political lives can’t be overemphasised”, he queried.
He, however, put the duo on notice that Rivers State, particularly the Ogoni, are too sophisticated and enlightened than to be swayed by cheap propaganda, all aimed at pulling Chibuike Rotimi down.
Eze counselled the duo that no matter their devious efforts against a man who made them politically they will never become Amaechi.