The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and the senator representing Rivers South-East in the Senate, Magnus Abe, of colluding to blackmail him.
While Wike belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abe is an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain like Amaechi.
However, Amaechi, who is a former Rivers governor, said the due were conniving to use some members of his cabinet to blackmail him.
According to a statement by Amaechi’s media office, Wike and Abe “are plotting to use his former cabinet members to tell fake, concocted and distorted stories to the media that are meant to denigrate him, impugn his unblemished integrity and paint a very terrible image of him to members of the public.”
The statement quoted Amaechi as saying, “I am aware that two former commissioners who served in the State Executive Council when I was governor have been procured by Wike and Abe, jointly and collaboratively, to carry out this hatchet job of ‘hack Amaechi down’ campaign. The plan is to throw as much dirt at me as possible and rubbish my image.
“While one is being coached in Rivers State Government House of what to say to the press and how to say it, to do maximum damage; the other one is busy distorting, concocting and fabricating fake screenshots, text messages, documents and all sorts in Senator Abe’s Freedom House campaign office in Port Harcourt; that they intend to release to the media to tarnish my image.
“I want to alert the media and members of the public of the smear plot by these two political collaborators (Wike and Abe), to unjustly discredit and smear me for their selfish political reasons.”
However, Amaechi vowed never to be intimidated by such antics, adding that he would always prioritise the development of Rivers State and ensure that the “inept” government of Wike is shown the exit door in 2019.
He also urged the public to disregard in its entirety the smear campaign when it is eventually launched against him.
But Wike, who spoke through the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Chief Emma Okah, accused Amaechi of selling a “false” narrative.
He said, “The assertion (by Amaechi) is false.
“Governor Wike has no time to take issues with paper tigers and base politicians, who cannot win elections in their wards and local governments, without the help of security agencies.
“Senator Abe is an adult and a distinguished member of the National Assembly, who does not need any collaboration to resist the wrong visited upon him by the former governor of Rivers State), by denying him right to political aspiration.
“Every Nigerian knows the love lost between Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the Transportation Minister and since 2013.
“The latter has used every opportunity to insult the governor of Rivers State and his government and he sees nothing wrong with that. Why is the transportation minister now afraid of receiving a little of the same meal he has served others?
“While the transportation minister is diverting attention from the obvious questions of his failure to attract any project to Rivers State, despite the enormous sacrifice the state made in bringing about the APC-led government at the centre, the government and people of Rivers State will remain focused in demanding explanations on the economic rape he (Amaechi) inflicted on the state and the failure of his party to plant any project in the state.”