The political rivalry between the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State took a new dimension on Sunday when the minister declared that Amaechi’s administration was a failed one.
Wike, who made this declaration yesterday at his Port Harcourt residence while receiving elders, women and youths from Rumueme Kingdom, Obio/Akpor Local Government, described the ongoing Rivers monorail project as a death trap.
He said, “There is one death trap they call monorail. Yes, we know that one day, we must die, but with the monorail I am seeing there, I will not take such a risk. The monorail is a death trap.
“Tell them to tell their children to go there (monorail) first. Look at the Old GRA; if you are driving in the night, you will see that it does not look like the Old GRA. The roads are bad and it shows that this government has failed”, Wike added.
Reacting to Wike’s outburst, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Tony Okocha, said it was unfortunate that the minister could describe the monorail that would begin to function in December as a ‘death trap’.
The Chief of Staff, who described Wike as a drowning man, expressed the need for the minister to extricate himself out of the ‘show of shame’ in Abuja, in apparent reference to the physical altercation at the PDP Legacy House last Wednesday during the sitting of the National Integration Committee, South-South zone, set up by the ruling party to look into grievances by party members ahead of the forthcoming general elections. The minister and his supporters were alleged to have unleashed violence on some PDP members from Rivers, who were opposed to Wike’s governorship ambition.
Okocha added that Wike ought to apologise to President Goodluck Jonathan for fighting in public as a minister.
“We have the clips of what transpired in Abuja and we thought Wike would take time to explain how he physically assaulted people in public. On the monorail, he (Wike) should know that the project is now a cynosure of all eyes.
“The state is insisting that by December, they will see the train move on the monorail. When a man is drowning, he clings on anything he sees. Wike is sinking”, he added.
On the minister’s claim that the Amaechi government was a failure, Okocha said, “The truth is that you can take anything away from Amaechi, you cannot take away the fact that he (Amaechi) has written his name on the sand of time”.
The Chief of Staff also disagreed with Wike that most roads in the state were in dilapidated state, stressing that contractors were working on the roads.
“You know that Rivers State has salty water and this affects the roads. MCC is at work to ensure that the potholes are closed”, he said.
However, the minister urged his visitors to ensure that they get their permanent voter cards and vote out the All Progressives Congress-led government in the state.
He accused Gov. Amaechi of insulting elders and disrespecting traditional institutions in the state, pointing out that he (Amaechi) would not be able to develop Rumueme in Obio/Akpor before the expiration of his tenure come May 2015.
“Your voter card is the only power you have to ensure that you vote the APC out and tell the APC to pack and go. The APC is a drug that has been banned for many years.
“You must be armed with your voter card because without it, you don’t have the competence to talk about who will be the governor and who will be the President”.
Wike also urged the people of the state not to listen to those who said that President Jonathan hated them, adding that the people of the state would work together as a “united and one Rivers State”.