(Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, ABUJA)
Following the New Year tragedy that occurred in Rivers State where gunmen opened fire indiscriminately at people returning from the church in the early hours of Monday, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has urged Governor Nyesom Wike to resign from office.
Amaechi also urged office holders not to criticise their predecessors, but remain focused to provide dividends of democracy for the electorate.
Amaechi had, last December, advised that “We must now move away from accusing past administrations and focus on developing Nigeria.”
He had said for Nigeria to move on, it must stop the blame-game and stop talking about what past administrations could not achieve.
But while reacting to the latest killings in Rivers State, Amaechi said though he had promised not to talk about the state, he, however, said that it would be foolhardly for any concerned citizens to keep quite after the death 21 residents killed by gunmen.
According to him, Governor Wike has allegedly been encouraging militant groups because of politics and election, adding that it was high time he (Governor Wike) acted on the oath he swore to protect lives and property.
Amaechi, who is the immediate pastor governor of Rivers State said, “I think the governor needs to get a bit more serious; he should stop encouraging the militant groups in the name of politics and election. You heard about 21 only in Omoku, what about in Akutoru where two persons were killed, what about other LGAs. I think there should be much more than age to qualify to be a governor because it takes much more than age.
“I was governor of Rivers State. I did not play PDP/APC politics. Life is life; it has no symbol. Nobody has APC life or PDP life. The first responsibility of a governor which is what the oath of office requires, is that you swear to protect lives and property. When you don’t protect life and property what do you do? It’s impeachment. Unfortunately there is no House of Assembly in Rivers State.
“Too much noise coming from Rivers State. The governor just wakes up and starts shouting, abusing people that’s all he does. Mr. Project painting roads, the first thing you do is human capacity development and keeping human beings safe and we are losing lives every day.
“Two important men were kidnapped before I left Port Harcourt. The first person is Chief Adoki till today, nearly one month after, nobody can tell you where he is. The next person is Chief Omogu. He was kidnapped luckily the villagers ran after the people and rescued the old man from the bush.
“It never happened when I was governor. We (the security and myself) ensured that we will not sleep at night. We stayed awake for the citizens to sleep. I think the governor needs to do much more than that or quit the office.”
Asked what he thinks Wike lacks capacity to govern the state, Amaechi continued, “I just don’t know because the things are there for him to work with. He is not like me when during my second term President Goodluck Jonathan took away Police, SSS. The Army Brigade Commander couldn’t visit me but in his case everyone is disposed to him. He can see the Commissioner of Police, Director SSS. During my period we fought insecurity. But because he needs these people for election purpose that is why they are still there; that is why they are killing. We need much more than that.
“Unfortunately, I swore not to be talking about Rivers anymore but you don’t keep quite in the face of 21 lives, you can’t just keep quite. I have said it that nobody should criticise his successor; let him do his beat but a successor that watches the lives of people go like that and does not care? God will bless him!”