The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi says Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike did not speak based on facts when he condemned the planned construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line and the Bonny Seaport.
When asked to respond to Wike’s comments that the planned multi-billion naira is bait to deceive Rivers people ahead of the 2023 general elections, Amaechi on AIT’s Kakaaki said the comment was “careless”.
Responding to the comments, the Minister of Transportation asked the Governor to speak based on facts, adding that the 2023 general election which Wike referred to is still two years away.
“I am taught before I became Governor that Governors don’t speak carelessly, I am taught before I became Governor that governors speak with facts and figures and that when you make a statement millions of Nigerians rely on that statement.
“I am not garrulous in that nature. I speak intelligently knowing that when I speak it matters. I don’t drink alcohol so I don’t speak out of my sense.
“Election is coming in 2023 and we are just in 2021. We still have 2 years.
“Go back and listen to all my statements as a Governor. I don’t just get up.
“I am one man who has been in politics for too long that sometimes my wife thinks that we should retire; I’ve been Speaker for 8 years, I’ve been Governor for 8 years, I’m now Minister for 6 years, I was Special Assistant for 2 years under Governor Rufus Ada-George. I have been in public office and I know the importance of making a public presentation,” Amaechi said.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has kicked against the disbursement of the £4.2miilion recovered from the former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori for construction of roads.
Recall that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom and Nigeria, said that the funds will be used to finance the 2nd Niger Bride, Lagos Ibadan Express Way and Abuja-Kano Express.
SERAP in a statement released on Wednesday said the loot should be used for the direct benefit of the victims of corruption in Delta State.
Part of the statement read: “The Ibori loot estimated to be £100m [including the planned return of £4m] should be used for the direct benefit of the victims of corruption in Delta State.
The rights group vowed to take legal action to ensure victims are not denied justice.
“We’ll pursue appropriate legal action to ensure that the victims are not denied justice and remedies,” the statement added.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has insisted that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Narrow gauge rail line is not good enough for Rivers State and the connecting states.
Governor Wike said this while commissioning the Omuechi-Omokiri-Aluu Road in Ikwerre Local Government area of the state.
He said the plan by the Federal government to complete the project in thirty-six months is unrealistic.
According to Wike, “I heard some people came to Rivers State to flag-off narrow gauge when people are talking about standard gauge. And they are making noise about it.
“Imagine Rivers State, the Treasure Base of the Nation. The state that they used the money to produce their president and towards the end of their administration they are telling us to have a narrow gauge.
“I was watching Kakaaki and saw somebody saying he’s a minister and he said he does not drink. You want to finish the narrow gauge in 36 months. That is after they have left office.”
Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara who commissioned the project said Governor Wike has been resourceful with State funds.