Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has said neither the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nor anybody can give him order or condition on the dissolution of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. Amaechi who was speaking yesterday at the 60th birthday church service of former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief O.C.J Okocha (SAN), held at the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Okoro-Nu-Odo Deanery in Port Harcourt, at the weekend, noted that it was the state House of
Assembly that suspended the chairman and councillors of the council over allegations of corruption, stressing that it was within the right of the Assembly to do what they did.
Amaechi who was responding to some issues raised by the officiating priest, Bishop of the Niger Delta Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, while delivering his sermon, said he is patiently waiting to hear the final determination of the court on whether the Assembly should be allowed to perform their legitimate, constitutionally enshrined functions or not.
“It is within the powers of the Rivers State House of Assembly to suspend the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. The same constitution gave me the powers to dissolve Obio/Akpor, but, I have not done that. The Rivers State House of Assembly suspended the Obio/Akpor council chairman and the councilors, which is within their lawful functions… The reason for which they were suspended was corruption, so allow the Assembly to investigate.
"If they investigate and the chairman and councilors are not corrupt, they will call them back. And no court can say the Assembly members have no right to carry out their lawful functions. However, whatever the court says, the Rivers State Government will obey the court. But outside that, PDP or anybody cannot give me any condition on Obio/Akpor council, we will continue to struggle for our rights, and that includes our oil wells," Amaechi explained.
Amaechi also called on the people of the state to choose credible candidates during elections, reminding them of the incidence of 2005 to 2006 where militancy and kidnapping metamorphosed into breakdown of law and order in the state.
Amaechi further maintained that he would remain committed to the vision of his administration to provide accountable and transparent stewardship anchored on integrity and good governance.
“I have done a road to Opobo and if I drive to Opobo, will the people pursue me? I have also constructed a road to Andoni, will they pursue me for putting a road to Andoni? What about the road from Port Harcourt to Owerri road and from Eleme to the boundary between Abia State, will they pursue me? What about the schools. I met a school with 100 to 200 students in a classroom. But now, you have standard structures and conducive learning environment with only 30 students per class, and we are still building.
Similarly, Amaechi has congratulated Professor Alabo Dagogo Fubara, a native of Opobo Town in the state on his 75th birthday. At a birthday reception in honour of Fubara, the governor described Fubara as a strong man who contributed immensely to the development of Rivers State.
Speaking on Wike, (who is leading a small faction of the State PDP against Amaechi) the governor said Wike was too small for him (Amaechi) to discuss.
Amaechi also said majority of those, who betrayed him severally were from his Ikwerre ethnic group, whom he nominated for positions at various levels, including Wike (who has now turned himself to be the chief opponent of Amaechi) and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara.
Amaechi said: “His grace, this will be the first time I will be talking about my former Chief of Staff in public. My former Chief of
Staff is too small for me to talk about, I don’t want to discuss him and I have never done that before. Today will be my first and last day.
“You know, there are different types of men. I hope you know that there are men with character and there are men without character. And you know I have character. I don’t believe that money can solve all problems and i don't worship money, my greatest fear is that where am I going to, after here on earth… Let me also tell you that I have been betrayed severally in politics and majority of those who betrayed me are from my Ikwerre ethnic group.
“Before I became a Speaker, can we look back at Ikwerre history? We were crying, we wanted Governor, we wanted this and that and the last ministerial appointment was Chief Emmanuel Aguma, a long time ago, and that was the last Ikwerre Ministerial appointment. I became Speaker and through the Grace of God I got the Deputy Speaker seat in the House of Representatives to an Ikwerre son (Austin Opara), all with my sweat, I struggled for it.”
Amaechi stated that when it was time for Opara to support him, he, instead, betrayed him
“Again, you can ask Mr. President, I submitted his name (Nyesom Wike) as Minister, where is he now? I Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi submitted his name (Nyesom Wike) as Minister to President Jonathan. But where is he now?… You must have character, you must be known for something…”
Meanwhile, reacting to claims by the governor that he has joined the Abuja politicians to run down his administration, Chibudum Nwuche, said he could not have jettisoned the possibility of securing another term for a South-south Presidency in 2015.
Nwuche, who was recently appointed the PDP Deputy National Chairman to replace Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, said the stance of Amaechi against President Goodluck Jonathan, was against the aspiration of the South-south people.
His words: “What I have sought to do is to urge our governor to govern in a more competitive manner, and to also understand that our people, the entire people of South-south will prefer to have Jonathan run for another term as our president.”
Nwuche said Jonathan embodied the hopes and aspirations of the people of the region, adding that nobody should distract him or undermine his government.