Virologist-turned social critic, Professor Tam David-West, has bemoaned the travails of the Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, describing him as a victim of injustice.
David-West, who is also a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, spoke when he led a delegation on a solidarity visit to Amaechi in Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday night.
He noted that the governor was going through difficult times now but said he would prevail at the end.
David-West recalled that he started writing about Amaechi ever before he personally met him, stressing that his strong support for him was not for any personal gains.
“I started to write about Amaechi before I ever met him personally. I am not a member of any political party. I am supporting a cause that is very dear to me and that cause is justice. I have been a victim of injustice in my life, so when I see people suffering injustice or victims, I naturally support them. I took personal interest in the governor’s (Amaechi) case ever before I met him in person as I said before. I support a cause not for personal gain.
“We are going through very strange times in Nigeria, stranger still that 16 is now greater than 19 (referring to Nigeria Governors’ Forum election outcome). Our governor is going through very difficult times, fortunately, he has the stamina and the strength, the fortitude to bear…”
According to him, Amaechi has outperformed every other governor the state ever had and commended him for his unparalleled achievements. He also called for support for him, saying anyone who disputes Amaechi’s performance in the state is blinder than the bat.
“I have followed the history of all governors to Amaechi and from Diette-Spiff to him, I make bold to say without any apologies or regrets that no governor has focused himself to elevating Rivers State, Port Harcourt than Governor Amaechi. It was, I think in Buguma I said, when the governor was visiting Buguma to campaign for election, they honoured me to speak and I said ‘anyone who says that Governor Amaechi has done nothing for Rivers State or Port Harcourt, is blinder than the bat,’” he said.
He lamented Amaechi’s suspension from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and warned against letting everything go in the country.
He also lamented the lies and political propaganda going on in the polity against Amaechi but urged the governor not to be distracted. He pledged his unflinching support for Amaechi and appealed to him to always rely on God for his strength.
He also prayed God to give victory to the governor and urged the people of the state to support him and not sit on the fence.
He said: “I support Amaechi and his government. I think he has done well and doing well, so we should encourage him to do so.”
According to him, Amaechi has made enemies for fighting for a just cause in the state and described him as a hero with decorum in relating with others.
Responding, Governor Amaechi thanked the former minister and his delegation for the solidarity visit. He expressed his desire for sustained peace and progress but expressed reservation on the commitment of the state Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, to security in the state.
Amaechi said: “Prof. let me thank you for this solidarity visit. This visit is very important to me because everyone knows that nobody can bring you to this Government House no matter the amount of money, not even if you bring out the entire Rivers State Government budget, Prof. would not come. So it is important that you have added this your great voice to the numerous Rivers people and Nigerians who are supporting us for standing firm for democracy and for standing firm for the truth.”
“Yesterday, my friend and brother, the Governor of Plateau State convened a meeting of some governors. To prove that we won the election, only 16 governors went and he has never held a meeting where they are more than 16 governors. We shall very soon call our own meeting because we have been trying hard to talk to them and talk to everybody for them to see reason why we need to be together and respect democracy. Their non-acceptance of the will of the governors is undemocratic. They should not have put themselves forward for election because if you don’t accept results when you don’t win, then you are not democratic. Anybody who recognises my brother Jang (as NGF chairman) is also undemocratic because even that person may not accept any election result that does not favour him. Let the will of the people be expressed and let us respect the sanctity of their decision.”
“Prof. let me mention to you some of the challenges we are facing in Rivers State now. I will give you snippets of the letter I am trying to send to the president. Somebody at the top changed our Commissioner of Police and brought a man that when we finish security council meeting, he goes to report who said what and we are unable to hold any security council meeting anymore because of that. Prof., insecurity is threatening to come back, kidnapping is on the rise, armed robbery is on the rise because they have hijacked the security of the state.”
The Commissioner of Police reports to them in Abuja directly. He doesn’t report to the governor, he has nothing to do with the
government, he takes away security men from Commissioners and post security men to the Chairman of Port Harcourt Club. Port Harcourt Club is a social gathering, it is somewhere behind us here. So, we have that problem and we believe that we should begin to address it. Prof., if we need to match on the streets, we will call you to come and join us. We are preparing to match on the streets, if this anomaly continues.”
“There are other people who have agreed to join us from outside Nigeria and from outside Rivers State but we want to give peace a chance to let the Federal Government know that we are tired of tyranny and impunity. We want the federal government to remember that the reason for which the federal government did not support state police is because they say the governors will mismanage state police, then the federal police should not be mismanaged against us because the
federal police is an institution for all Nigerians. I don’t want to go into details because we are still hoping that they will see