Rivers Govt Defends Wike, Blasts Amaechi For Comments On Killings
The Rivers State Government has defended Governor Nyesom Wike against claims by the Minister of Transport that the governor was responsible for the New Year killing in the state.
Mr Rotimi Amaech had earlier on Tuesday accused the governor of encouraging thuggery and, thereby, causing the killing of up to 16 persons on New Year’s Day in the state.
The killings took place in Ogba, Egbema in Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State when gunmen opened fire on residents who were returning from a midnight service.
Amaechi’s comments, has, however, further fueled the long-running feud between him and his successor, Wike with the Rivers Government describing them as false.
It also said the comments amounted to the indictment of security agencies, who are responsible for protecting lives and property in the country.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Amaechi’s statement is false and an infantile attempt to gain political mileage from the senseless killings of innocent Rivers indigenes,” the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Emma Okah, read in part.
“Over the last few days, there has been a nationwide upsurge of violence, leading to the unfortunate deaths of Nigerians. Is the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi claiming that in all these instances, the governors of the respective states armed the killers?”
Describing the minister’s comments as regrettable and a “sad commentary”, the commissioner said rather than being criticised, Governor Wike should be commended for improving security in the state.
He said, “For the records, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has funded and equipped security agencies in the state more than any other state governor has done.
“Rather than being commended for the sacrifice, ingrates like Amaechi see nothing in the genuine efforts of a patriotic leader, which Nyesom Ezenwo Wike represents.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari on Tuesday condemned the New Year killings in Rivers and other parts of the country, describing them as unacceptable.
Apart from the attack in Rivers, killings were reported in Benue, Kwara and Kaduna states on New Year’s Day.