A former Governor of Rivers State, Mr chibuike Amaechi, has accused the current governor, Nyesom Wike and his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of being behind killings in the state.
This allegation is the latest in allegations and counter allegations that have been put forward, as political parties in Rivers State prepare for the December 10 re-run legislative election.
Mr Amaechi claims that Mr Wike could not deny his involvement and sponsorship of the killing of innocent Rivers people and stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections and the March 19 re-run elections in the state.
Cache Of Arms And Ammunitions
The former governor made the allegations while addressing reporters at the Port Harcourt International Airport on arrival in the State for Saturday’s re-run legislative elections.
He said the cache of arms and ammunitions Mr Wike recovered from cultists during the first phase of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme was evidences to buttress his allegations.
“Wike has not denied he did not kill people. He sponsored those who carried arms in the 2015 general elections.
“Even, during the campaigns, our people were beaten, manhandled and others threatened, leaving many dead. But we will not continue to allow these things to happen like that. Members of the PDP were also responsible for killing APC members in Omoku,” Mr Amaechi, who is now the the Minister of Transportation, told reporters.
When asked for his opinion on claims by the PDP and Governor Wike that the Police and INEC in Rivers state have connived to manipulate election results in favour of the APC, Mr Amaechi, who is a member of the APC said: “If Governor Wike and the PDP have justifiable evidence, let them present it to the general public and stop blackmailing me or INEC and Police.
“The allegations are immaterial, null and void. Why is Wike and PDP making too much noise and fruitless allegations?” he questioned.
But Mr Wike has vowed to release a video of the plot to rig the election in favour of the APC when the need arises.
Despite Wike’s claims, Mr Amaechi claimed that his popularity in the state was enough to the give his party victory,.
He argued that he was more popular than all those in the PDP because, when he left office in 2015 as Governor of Rivers State, he had over 75 per cent support from Rivers people and other Nigerians resident in the state.
“This is so because, as Governor then, l overhauled the Health and Education sectors by promoting free healthcare system and free education.
“Over 10,000 teachers were employed, including the building of critical infrastructures, roads and youth empowerment, making Rivers people and other Nigerians experience change.
“So, l am very sure l had more popularity than any PDP stakeholder including Governors across the country,” he claimed.
Mr Amaechi further urged the people of the state to disabuse their minds against comments by the PDP and Governor Wike, which he said were calculated to rubbish him in the eyes of right thinking persons, in order to score cheap popularity and further whip up public sentiments to heat up the polity.
He called on Rivers people and other Nigerians resident in the state, including supporters and stalwarts of the APC to turn out en-masse to vote on Saturday, urging them to always protect their votes at election venues.
“Before now, I used to tell my Party members to vote and protect their votes, but there has been complains of indecent attacks from the PDP, so, I have asked the APC party members to protect their votes and their lives as well, because the PDP cannot be bigger than everybody everywhere,” Amaechi explained.
He equally expressed total displeasure over what he called, “irresponsible comments” by Wike, stating that, “at several occasions, Wike has abused the office and privileges of the governor, especially, his sudden interception of Security operatives who were detailed by law to arrest corrupt judges in some states across the country”.
“During my tenure as Governor, I never abused the office of the Governor, because, it is sacred and should be respected in all ramifications,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister in a broadcast aired on Radio stations across Rivers State asked Rivers people to take advantage of the December 10 re-run elections and vote the right persons to represent them and put an end to the alleged terror they have been made to go through by the Wike and PDP administration in the State so far.
He said: “This is another opportunity for us to exercise our right to vote for candidates of our choices. You would recall that the last time the elections were held, members of the APC were brazenly, crudely and violently prevented from exercising their inalienable rights to elect those they wanted. Those same characters and forces that stole our votes by violently, denying us the right to vote the last time, are at it again.
“In the months and weeks leading to this Saturday’s election, they have employed the use of violence and intimidation and harassment all aimed at preventing us from coming out to vote, they have turned our hitherto peaceful state into a haven of brazen criminality culminating in killings and maiming of innocent citizens.
“However, it is gratifying to know that the Commander-in- Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, has assured the security of lives and property in the state before, during and after the election.
“Mr. President has graciously provided adequate security through the length and breadth of the state. I therefore, enjoin you all to come out en masse and exercise your civic right on Saturday”.