Nyesom Wike who is the Rivers State governor, on Monday blasted the former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, while he described him as a total failure in government.
Governor Wike had also noted that as far as Rivers State is concerned, Amaechi has been unable to attract any meaningful project to the State in seven years while he had been serving as a minister as well.
Wike had been making this statement in reaction to comments by the former minister that the Rivers State government had refused to give a state burial to late Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, who was laid to rest last Saturday.
Amaechi had also called out the Rivers State Government for failing to attend the funeral of the late elder Alabo Graham Douglas.
Douglas, a four-time federal minister was on Saturday laid to rest at his hometown, Abonnema in Akuku Toru Local Government Area.
Amaechi, who attended the funeral wondered why the Rivers State Governor failed to attend the function. According to him the state government would have taken responsibility of the funeral going by the contributions of the deceased. He had also noted that one did not need to be a governor to be recognized, as the late Douglas played a significant role in the emergence of Rufus Ada George as governor of the state.
“Indeed going by the contributions he made to the state, I was thinking that the state would take responsibility for everything concerning Alabo. You don’t need to be governor to be recognised,” he said.
“Alabo played a very important role in making Rufus Ada George governor of Rivers State. We came to thank him here in Abonnema when Ada George became governor. And he (TOG) was arguably one of the best-dressed Rivers men until his death,” he added.
But Wike, on Monday, to lampoon the former minister, saying that a man who has failed in attracting projects to his State and has exhibited poor leadership within his depleted party, should hide his face in shame and stop talking about Rivers politics.
“We have taken all your people. Nobody is in your party again. Why not manage and stay quiet; because of your poor leadership.
“Tell Rivers State people, as Minister of Transportation, what did you do for your people? Seven good years, all you were interested in was doing business with CCECC, doing standard gauge and the other gauge until now, we have not seen anyone in Port Harcourt to Maiduguri,” he said.
Wike boasted that while he was a junior minister, he attracted the Faculty of Law to the University of Port Harcourt, and established the Oil and Gas Polytechnic in Bonny.
He also made grants available to Kenule Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori and Ignatius Ajuru University, while renovating several secondary schools in Rivers State.
“Tell us, as a grade A minister, what you brought. You think you can deceive Rivers State again?”
Wike said the State government stayed away from the burial activities because it was politicised and he did not want to be associated with such trivialities.
“I saw you people have brought politics to the man’s burial. I said, ok, let me withdraw myself. I don’t want to be involved in this kind of politics.”
Wike stated that if people had gone to bury the dead, they would have focused on that mission of honouring the dead and not involved him in the talks around the event.
“Let me use this opportunity to say that I am very disappointed that the former minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi will still come to the state to talk about this government not giving late Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas a state burial.
“It is unfortunate. I asked him, when Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas was sick, where were you? This State government committed so much amount of money to make sure Chief Alabo survived.
“I want to challenge anybody, we did not spend less than N50m to make sure our elder statesman survived. It was survival we wanted, we wanted him to be alive.
“When his late son had an accident, and was flown to London, this State government bore the cost of it. Go and ask people.”
Wike recalled that it was this same Amaechi, who is now showing he loved Graham-Douglas more, that refused to honour him while he was alive. He had also revealed that Amaechi had fully declined to grant the request of Graham-Douglas for the elevation of the Abonnema traditional stool to first class and construction of Abonnema ring road.
“Amaechi, Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas told you, please, help me and do the ring road in Abonnema so that when we have occasion, we will not be parking on one road, you refused to do it. I did it.
“When Chief Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas was alive, he told Amaechi, why not do this Trans-Kalabari Road. He did not do it. I am the one doing it. So, who is the man who loves Alabo and has made him happier?”
Speaking further, Wike recalled how Amaechi deceived prominent Rivers elders whom he professed love but refused to honour them.
“That was how he pulled down our general hospital that he was going to build Justice Karibi Whyte Hospital. Justice Karibi Whyte died and he never saw one block you laid.”
Wike also pointed to the deception the former Minister meted to late Captain Elechi Amadi, who despite their relationship failed to keep his words.