Governor Amaechi Questions Essence Of Centenary Celebration
The governor told the state lawmakers, who assembled on Monday at the Government House to discuss state matters in commemoration of the centenary, that the state of the Nigerian economy was deplorable and about to collapse.
The state lawmakers have not been able to sit within the State House of Assembly’s complex for over five months after a free-for-all led to the close down of the complex by the police.
Amaechi said: “Can we celebrate when our children are being slaughtered while at school? Can we celebrate when our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters are being slaughtered like chickens? In these questions lie the state of the nation. Where is the country headed? Where will the country be in another 100 years? What legacy are we leaving behind for our children?
He also said that the government had continued to shy away from the economic realities, stating that the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had continued to “sing loudly to disguise the state of an economy that is about to break down”.
He insisted that “a country is not judged by how long its democratic process had been on but by the substance of the structures and what they represent in the eyes of the people”.
Governor Amaechi won the Rivers State governorship seat under the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party but decamped to the opposition, the All Progressives Congress, in the last quarter of 2013.
The factional Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Honourable Evans Bipi condemned the governor’s criticisms on the centenary celebration, saying they were unwarranted and misdirected.
Mr Bipi told Channels Television’s correspondent, Charles Eruka, in port Harcourt that the governor lacked the locus standi to attack Nigeria’s hundred years celebration.
The factional speaker also took a swipe at the supposed sitting of some members of the rivers state house of assembly, describing it as a joke and illegitimate.
“Amaechi cannot have a session in the government House. They only went there to meet with him as his friends,” Bipi said.