Amaechi, Obanikoro clash over Rivers governorship election

Nigeria’s junior foreign affairs minister, Musiliu Obanikoro, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers on Wednesday engaged each other in a war of words on micro-blogging site, Twitter,  over the outcome of last Saturday’s governorship elections.

The fierce exchanges was sparked by a tweet from Mr. Obanikoro who congratulated Lagos state governor-elect, Akinwunmi Ambode, over his victory in  election in that state.

In the same tweet, Mr. Obanikor called out Mr. Amaechi, advising him and his “co-travelers” to learn from his sportsmanship.

Mr. Obanikoro is a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. He contested for the Lagos state governorship ticket under his party but lost to Jimi Agabje. He was later appointed junior minister in the foreign affairs ministry. Mr. Agbaje lost the election, last Saturday, to Mr. Ambode.

Mr. Amaechi, on the other hand, is a member of the opposition – but soon to be ruling – All Progressives Congress. He is the outgoing governor of Rivers state and was the campaign director of Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president elect. His favourite candidate in Saturday’s governorship election, Dakuku Peterside, lost to PDP’s Nyesom Wike.

Many election observers have described the Rivers state governorship elections as a sham. Mr. Amaechi did not take Mr. Obanikoro’s advise lightly.

Apparently angry, he tore at the minister , questioning his “debased and rotten” values.

“If your values are so debased & rotten that you saw nothing wrong with the elections in Rivers State, mine is not. Never will,” Mr. Amaechi said in one of his tweets.

He tweeted further:

Mr. Obanikoro replied, describing Mr. Amaechi’s agitations as senseless.

Mr. Amaechi is yet to respond to Mr. Obanikoro’s last set of tweets.

This is the first Twitter fight involving top Nigerian government officials since the close of polls last Saturday.

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