Don’t appoint Amaechi minister, Wike tells Buhari

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has asked President Muhammad Buhari not to appoint Rotimi Amaechi as minister if he wants his fight against corruption to be looked upon with credibility.

President Buhari revealed last week in an article published in the Washington Post that he would announce members of his cabinet in September.

Mr. Amaechi was among the top government dignitaries that accompanied Mr. Buhari to last week’s state visit to the United States.

In a statement on Sunday signed by Mr. Wike’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, the governor, who described Mr. Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign as “selective” and “drawing a cocktail of reaction”, said it would be “dismissed as laughable” if Mr. Amaechi makes the ministerial list.

Mr. Wike claimed Mr Amaechi was the most corrupt government official and asked the president to probe the ex-governor to lend credibility to his fight against corruption.

“If Buhari is sincere in his fight against corruption, let him probe the Amaechi’s government and he will discover that there cannot be a government official that is more corrupt than Amaechi,” he said.

He blamed Mr. Amaechi for Rivers State’s fiscal woes saying his policies were reckless and dictatorial.

“From the genesis to revelation of his government, Amaechi’s fiscal recklessness and dictatorial policies and approaches are responsible for the financial woes of the state that should ordinarily be buoyant.

“A man like Amaechi must not be allowed to flaunt the fruits of his crime with impunity. He has to account for the monthly allocations he received in 8 years and the IGRs for the same period. He spirited so much out of the system with little or nothing to show for it.

“The appointment of Amaechi by Buhari will be an endorsement of corruption by Buhari,” he said.

The governor said if Mr. Amaechi was blameless, he wouldn’t be seeking protection from investigation. 

“If there are no skeletons in his cupboard, why try to frustrate the Hon Justice Omereji’s commission of inquiry? This obviates the need for further evidence that his hands are dirty.   After all, he started and ended his reign with the late Justice Kayode Esho’s panel and the Prof Odinkalu’s commission of inquiry respectively -not to talk of that headed by Justice B A Georgewill.  ‘Do unto others, what you want others to do unto you’, our Lord Jesus admonished my brother Knight, Amaechi.”

Mr. Wike added that it is ironical for Mr. Amaechi, who he claimed orchestrated the closure of courts in the state during his tenure, to seek protection from the same judiciary he incapacitated.

“The attempt to stop the Hon Justice Omereji’s Commission of Inquiry from investigating his government is not only risible but shameful and highly provocative. It is ironical that the same man who sealed the judiciary for close to two years and turned lawyers into taxi drivers and artisans  will now have the gumption to approach the same courts he desecrated for justice. 

“If his successor had followed his footsteps, which court would he have approached to seek redress?  How will he appear before those he almost turned into beggars?  As a result of his callous and insensitive actions, most lawyers had broken homes as they could not sustain their families. Some even lost their loved ones in hospitals for lack of money to buy needed drugs,” he said.

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