Alleged diversion of $308m : Wike, APC clash over Amaechi

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State yesterday slammed Governor Nyesom Wike over his allegation that the Federal Government was shielding Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi from prosecution.

The governor accused Amaechi, his predecessor, of misappropriating proceeds from the sales of some of the state assets.

WIke said his predecessor had not accounted for $308million realised from the sale of the assets.

To the governor, it was disingenuous for the Federal Government to commission the rehabilitation of a narrow-gauge rail from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri at a time the rest of the world was building standard gauge raisl.

Wike spoke during the inauguration of 6.1km long, 7.3m wide Omuihuechi-Omuoko-Omokiri link Road in Aluu Ikwerre Local Government .

The governor said it was appalling that the Federal Government had continued to protect Amaechi from prosecution for his alleged inability to account for $308million from the sale of the state-owned power plant and other critical assets when he was governor.

Wike noted such protection emboldened the minister to try to undermine the state government by influencing postings of the Commissioner of Police and General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army, to Rivers State.

He said: “People gave you an opportunity. You sold our properties, everything. And people are talking in this state because of the government that says they are fighting corruption and protecting people.

“You (Amaechi) sold our property for $308million and kept for us $208,000. That is the kind of people parading themselves in government for a government that says they are fighting corruption, shame.”

The governor urged the people not to be deceived by the antics of the APC government, following the narrow gauge rail. He said the project was politically-motivated.

Wike said: “I heard people came to Rivers State to flag-off narrow gauge (rail) when the world is talking of standard gauge.

“What they are giving Rivers is narrow gauge because I challenged them: show us what you have done for the people of the state. “

“So, what they will do is to come and say: ‘okay, since you are complaining, let us give you that narrow gauge’ instead of giving us the standard gauge to Maiduguri, and they are making noise about it.

“Towards the end of their administration is when they come and tell us of narrow gauge railway.

“You want to finish the narrow gauge in 33 months. Will he be in power then? I am going to finish every project I have awarded, this government will finish it.”

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The governor claimed that the proposed University of Transport in Ubima, Rivers State, was deceitful because Amaechi could not see the project through.

According to Wike, Amaechi and his supporters are “small kids in politics”.

“They said we will not be governor, we taught them a lesson in politics. In 2015, they said over their dead will we be governor. I am looking for the dead body.

“In 2019 they said we will not be governor, that they are in power. I said you are not in power, God is in power. We defeated them. They are small kids in politics.

“But let me warn the man who thinks he has President, soldiers, police. You should have learnt your lesson by now, that when God has left you there is nothing you can do again.”

The APC said the governor talks before thinking.

It asked Wike to prove his allegations in court.

The party’s spokesman, Ogbonna Nwuke, said: “It is not the first time that Wike will come up with such wild allegations.

“This man talks before he thinks and believes that because he is a governor and enjoys immunity he can say anything against anyone at any time.

“The person he is accusing of corruption had a clear agenda and Rivers people know. He had budgets that people could see. He had projects that went through due process.

“But the one who is accusing him of corruption hides the budget of the people from the people. And he has the audacity to get into the public space to open his mouth and close as he likes.

“Knowing Wike the way I know him right from the time we were appointed at the same time and we served the same government, the first time the EFCC came to Rivers State under the administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi it was because of Wike.

“If he says Amaechi is corrupt he should go to court. Is the court also protecting Amaechi from prosecution? He set up the Omereji committee, what did the committee find? Nothing.

“Yet he continues to parrot his mouth saying anything he likes. Let him go to court and prove it. He is the Head of the government”.

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