Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike says he was never an employee of the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, rather he made him governor in 2007, with the help of God.
Wike said this in an interview with BBC Pidgin in Port Harcourt in reaction to a recent statement credited to Amaechi, in which he said that Wike was his former staff, and as such he cannot banter words with him.
He claimed that even Amaechi once declared in an open church that he (Wike) was next in his life after God and told him to freely choose any position in his government having played a key role in his emergence as governor.
According to the governor, Amaechi wanted to appoint him as commissioner, but that he turned it down, choosing instead the position of Chief of Staff.
Wike said, “I was not close to Amaechi. We were just in the same party and in politics everybody has an ambition. He has his own. I don’t regret that as of that time, we preferred him to be governor. We fought it and God crowned our efforts and he became a governor.
“He is in APC and I am in PDP. So don’t expect me to support what he is doing in APC. He said I was his employee. What he said was not good. God used me to make him the governor. I will give you a tape where Amaechi spoke in church saying after God, I came next. But when he spoke the other day, he said I was his employee. No problem, but an employee that dealt with him here (Rivers State).”
I have never accused Mr. Amaechi of corruption, rather a judicial commission of inquiry in the state had indicted the minister for the alleged misappropriation of $308m realised from the sale of the Rivers State assets, he added.
He pointed out how the judicial commission indicted the Amaechi-led administration for allegedly wasting N54bn on the abandoned 1.4 kilometer monorail project.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the APC in Rivers State, Ogbonna Nwuke, has reacted to Wike’s claims, saying the governor was being economical with the truth.
“I think Wike was a chairman of the council and the man that he claimed he made Governor was responsible for his second tenure as chairman, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area.
“On account of Wike’s struggle in Obio-Akpor, the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, impeached the deputy chairman in order to pave the way for Wike to do a second tenure.
“He (Wike) was appointed Chief of Staff, I was appointed director press and (Magnus) Abe was appointed Secretary to the State Government. That made Wike Amaechi’s employee because as chief of staff, he was answerable directly to the one who appointed him and that person who appointed him then was the governor. Wike did not make Amaechi a governor,” he said.