Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, has raised alarm over attempts by his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike to intimidate, threaten and blackmail officials of his (Amaechi’s) administration, including civil servants into making false, phony and bogus claims of alleged corruption and corrupt practices against him and his wife, Judith, through concocted claims that cannot be substantiated.
Amaechi also debunked claims by Wike that the seat of power in the state, Government House, Port Harcourt was vandalized and looted by him.
He described Wike’s provocative utterances as another cheap smear campaign and ploy to siphon billions of naira from the state treasury under the guise of renovating a ‘vandalized’ and ‘looted’ Government House.
This reaction is contained in a statement released on behalf of the former governor by his spokesman, David Iyofor.
Amaechi stated that Wike had gone to ridiculous and absurd lengths to show his imaginary claims of vandalisation and looting in Government House in his bid to vote billions of naira for renovation of the place.
He said: “I am aware that this (Monday) morning, Wike in company of his coterie of court jesters took some video cameramen and photographers on a tour of the Governor’s residence inside Government House. He took them to the Governor’s bedroom where he made further claims that the place had been looted.
“The question to ask is, did Wike know what was in my former bedroom before now, to conclude that the bedroom was looted? Did he speak with or review with the Permanent Secretary of Government House, who is the chief accounting officer before jumping into such hasty and misguided conclusion?”
“Apparently, he had already reached a conclusion before arriving Government House, and all he has been saying and doing is to work towards that conclusion of looting and vandalisation. It’s instructive to note that on Friday, May 29, Wike had barred some key officials of Government House, including civil servants from accessing the place. 48 hours later, he started shouting ‘vandalization and looting’. This doesn’t smell right. I left the place intact. If there’s any vandalization or looting in Government House after I left, Rivers people should ask Wike what happened.
“This is clearly a grand conspiracy to siphon state funds in the guise of renovating a vandalized and looted Government House and falsely smear my image. On the latter, Wike is sparing no expense, employing all sorts of insidious tactics to accuse me and rub me with the tar of corruption.
“I am aware that a plot is on by Wike to harass, intimidate, threaten, blackmail and do whatever it takes to get officials, including civil servants, who served in my administration to make false and phony claims of corruption against me, personally, and my dear wife, Judith; in spite of the fact that my wife was never an official of government or public officeholder. These false, bogus and illusive claims can never be substantiated but Wike doesn’t care. All he wants is to taint my good name with screaming headlines of corruption and corrupt practices in the media. But, he will certainly fail.”
Amaechi urged the media to beware of this plot, scrutinize thoroughly and disregard any of Wike’s wild and false claims of corrupt practices against him and his wife.
He further advised the media to be weary and discard the stage-managed video by Wike purportedly showing the looting and vandalization of Government House, Port Harcourt.