Amaechi’s administration denied my proposition to establish law school in Rivers – Wike

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Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike said on Friday that the administration of his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, denied a proposal to establish a law school in the state.

Between 2007 and 2011, Wike served as Amaechi’s Chief of Staff. Politically, the two have split, with Amaechi joining the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013 and his successor remaining in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor spoke at the inauguration of the new Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Rumueme, Port Harcourt, as part of a week-long unveiling of legacy projects as the governor’s two-term administration nears its end.

“I remember when I was chief of staff, the law school that is in Bayelsa today was to come to Rivers but the government at that time said no. They were not willing to have a law school campus in Port Harcourt,” Wike said.

The governor described how attending a Call to Bar at the Nigerian Law School in Abuja resulted in the creation of the new Rivers campus.

According to Wike, as the Nigerian Body of Benchers filed into the hall, he couldn’t help but notice the deplorable state of the surroundings.

“‘How can we have this as a law school and especially the headquarters of the Nigeria Law School? This is unacceptable.’ I sent somebody to call me the Director General of the Law School, though I didn’t know him,” Wike said.

“He came and I said, ‘This is our law school? What is happening?’ He said they would manage with what they had as there were no funds. This is my constituency.

“If I leave tomorrow as governor and then I’m criticising, people would ask me, ‘When you were there, what was your contribution to making sure we have a better legal education?’”

According to Wike, the Director General declined his offer to renovate one of the buildings on the Abuja campus, instead telling him to “take the money to Bayelsa State.”

Following a visit to the Bayelsa campus, the governor stated that he was moved to establish the Rivers State campus.

“You would never allow even your worst slave to go to that school. It was so bad. I was touched and I said, ‘What do we do?’ (The DG) said their immediate problem was that there was no accommodation or auditorium for them to do any activity.

“I said the Rivers State Government would contribute to building 900 spaces of hotels and then 1,500 capacity multipurpose hall. Then I told him to go and design it. He designed it and brought it at the cost of over N5bn. We passed through the due process and awarded the contract,” he said.

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