The Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Chibuike Amaechi, has urged the Rivers people to secure their future by voting out the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led federal government in 2015.
Mr. Amaechi spoke at the weekend in Degema, the headquarters of Degema Local Government Area of the state after commissioning an 8,000-sitting capacity football stadium complex built by the local government administration.
Mr. Amaechi, a former member of the PDP and now a staunch critic of President Goodluck Jonathan, said the PDP has nothing to offer Kalabari people of River State, and one way for the people to regain their lost oil wells and benefit from democratic governance was to vote out the PDP.
Mr. Jonathan was recently adopted the sole presidential candidate of the ruling PDP.
Mr. Amaechi explained that Mr. Jonathan was taking sides in the Soku oil wells matter, as he narrated the president’s reaction during a meeting with Kalabari Chiefs.
The Rivers State government blames Mr. Jonathan for the state’s loss of disputed oil wells to neighbouring Bayelsa State, Mr. Jonathan’s home state.
“In that meeting, before Kalabari Chiefs, Mr. President said to us, ‘you people call it Soku, we from Bayelsa call it Oluasiri’. ‘Is Soku Oluasiri?’, he questioned and the people said ‘no’.
“As President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is not supposed to take sides. The moment he said it is called Oluasiri, he is taking sides and we have no faith in Mr. President returning our oil wells. They have taken the (Soku) oil wells, they are spending the money because they have the Presidency. The only way you can get back your oil wells is to vote out Mr. President. The only opportunity you have now is your vote. Vote him out, he is not Rivers, He is from Bayelsa. He has not and will not serve us and I have said here, let Mr. President tell us what he has done for us,” Mr. Amaechi said.
He noted with regret that his efforts to build Trans-Kalabari road in the state and reconstruct the Emohua-Abonnema federal road already in deplorable condition was frustrated by President Jonathan.
He called on the people to fight for their rights by using their voting strength to correct all anomalies by voting out the ruling PDP.
“When I was coming here (to Degema), I saw the Emohua-Abonnema road, it’s going bad. When I met the president with Kalabari Chiefs and I told the president: ‘that road is going very bad, if we don’t intervene now, that road will soon be impassable. Mr. President, that road is a federal road’, and he said, he knows. And I then asked: ‘Mr. President, can the Rivers State Government reconstruct that road? Because that is the only road by which Kalabari people come out to town’ but Mr. President said no.”
“He told me ‘no’ and said he (federal government) would do it. One year plus, he has not done it. So what you will do to make sure you have a road next year is to vote out PDP. If Mr President says he is our brother, because I hear Kalabari people say he is our brother, let him do our road, let him return our Soku oil wells.”
“I begged him (President Jonathan) that the federal government is owing Rivers State N105 billion, he should take N50 billion from there and help me construct Trans-Kalabari road, he said, ‘Amaechi, I will do it’. Three years after, Mr. President has not done it, so he is not a Kalabari man. Don’t follow your buccaneer brothers, who want to be governor and all that and because of their personal selfish interests, they want to sell the Kalabari Kingdom. You are the youths, defend your kingdom. Nobody should take away what belongs to you. The Kalabari people are known to fight for their right. They are people who can stand up to any challenge to protect themselves and their people. One way to defend your kingdom is to vote out those who don’t have your interest at heart”, he noted.
On the commissioned project, Governor Amaechi commended Degema Council Chairman, Ibigoni Pokima, for constructing the Sports Complex named after late Tonye Harry, the immediate past Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
Earlier, the Degema Council boss, Mr. Pokima said history was made in the local government area by the visit of the governor.
He said his administration has concentrated on providing democratic dividends to the people of the local government area and thanked Governor Amaechi for his immense support.
“Your Excellency, I feel a sense of fulfilment to say that Bakana, Oguruama, Amatamgbolo and Fuche communities have been hooked up to the national grid. Then we thought of coming back to our first dream – engaging and channelling the energy of our youths into meaningful venture other than in restiveness and militancy, hence the vision to build this sports complex.”
“As a government, we are gratified that the vision we conceived about three years ago has come to solid fruition. I believe this complex will provide a serene and conducive atmosphere for our people especially our youths to develop and exhibit their sporting prowess”, he said.
After the commissioning, Governor Amaechi took a shot at goal to kick-off the peace tournament between Team Rivers and Team Degema.