The Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday said political office holders steal state funds because Nigerians do not stone them.
Amaechi, who said this in Lagos at an event organised to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, challenged Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable.
He said, “If you see a thief and you allow him to be stealing, what have you done? You have stoned nobody; that is why we are stealing. Who have you stoned? They came out and started dancing oil subsidy, oil subsidy. They told you that they stole N2.3trn, what did you do?
“Instead you are protesting ‘bring more oil subsidy’; the oil subsidy that is not reaching the poor. A few individuals are going away with the money and you have done nothing. You are mourning Madiba, who lived up to 95, and he was very angry with Nigeria when he died.
“You’ve heard that $50bn is missing and you have done nothing about it. In some countries people will go on the street until they return that money. It is N8trn, it can change Nigeria.
“Me I want to steal only $1bn, let them bring it. You read Obasanjo’s letter and you are asking why is he writing the letter, is he a South-South man? In fact, when he was there what did he do? You, what have you done? If you don’t take your destiny in your hands, we will go and other leaders will come and continue stealing.”
Meanwhile, as the crisis rocking Rivers State deepens, the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has described Governor, Amaechi, as the worst tyrant he (Wike) has ever known.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Saturday, the minister, who decried the declaration of a one-week holiday by the state government, said it was wrong for anybody to suggest that 25 out of 32 state lawmakers were on the side of the governor.
“Nigeria will do well if we stand by the truth. Amaechi is a tyrant and he can be likened to Adolf Hitler. Amaechi is the worst tyrant I have ever known. If you do not know, know it now. I worked there (in Government House, Port Harcourt as Chief of Staff).”
Dismissing suggestions that he betrayed Amaechi, the minister described as false the claim that the governor influenced his (Wike) emergence as the Obio/Akpor Council chairman for a second term.
But in his reaction, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Mr. Tony Okocha described Wike’s description of Amaechi as a tyrant as laughable, saying the governor gave the minister a free hand to operate when he (Wike) was the Government House Chief of Staff.
“It is laughable; It is a direct opposite of what he (Wike) meant to say. He knows that the governor is not a tyrant. The governor gave him a free hand and he misused it.
“In Amaechi’s administration, Wike has benefitted the most. Wike lost favour of Obio/Akor people after his first tenure as council chairman. He had no hope of a rerun because the people decided not to support him.
“Amaechi influenced his emergence as chairman of Obio/Akpor for second tenure. He has no respect for constituted authority. Wike has a long history of betrayal.
“It runs in his blood. I am advising him to look back and see how many people are falling by the wayside because of his mischief,” Okocha added.
Meanwhile, the leader of six anti-Governor Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers, Mr. Evans Bipi, has said the governor will only be impeached if he fails to recognise him as Speaker.
Bipi, who had insisted that he remained the Speaker of the Assembly, stated that he would not remove Amaechi from office if the condition is met.
“I have no intention to impeach him so long as he recognises me as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. I have always maintained that I am the authentic Speaker of the State Assembly,” Bipi, who represents Ogu/Bolo State Constituency, told SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday.
The House has been in crisis since an attempt was made on July 9, 2013, to impeach the Speaker of the House, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree.
Source: The Punch