Wike accuses APC of fuelling insecurity .
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“A state with a very high unemployment rate, where one individual acquires other people’s land and develops whatever he wants, yet no one is talking, signals severe danger,” Amaechi, who led the South South state from 2007 to 2015, claimed.
When some key members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decamped, he spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt at the state office of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Two former commissioners in Governor Nyesom Wike’s government were among the decampees. Dr. Reason Onya and Charles Nwaorgu were among them.
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“Rivers State is entirely in danger,” the minister stated, “a state where properties are gathered, where people are just building everywhere and no one is talking.”
He expressed regret that the state “is listed among Nigeria’s highest unemployment communities because someone is simply building roads.”
Though he did not identify anyone by name throughout his 18-minute speech, onlookers speculated that he was alluding to the state’s present leadership.
Since Wike took over as minister in 2015, there has been no love lost between Amaechi and the governor.
“When I was governor, I not only built roads, but I also built schools, (provided) power, (formed) farms, and created employment,” Amaechi stated. Rivers was not among the Nigerian cities with the highest unemployment rates.
“The high rate of crime in Rivers State is due to unemployment. That is why we built the Songhai Farm. The Songhai Farm is no longer standing. That is why they came to a halt at Khana at the Banana Farm.
“That is why we had fish farms and were constructing a farm in Etche. We were doing everything we could to help young people find work. That is why we hired 13,200 teachers and sent our children to study in other countries.”
Governor Wike warned that “thunder would fire anyone who would dictate to the state the one to lead it in 2023” during a lavish reception by the Ogoni people over the weekend in Bori, Khana Local Council.
However, Amaechi stated at the event that he would support a riverine governor as a person, emphasising that anyone was free to support anyone they wanted.
“As a Catholic Christian, I didn’t swear by thunder,” he continued. My elders were respected by me. Because I was governor, I never looked down on people. I never said anything carelessly. I spoke in terms of facts. I hired young men who had to provide me with information for every speech I gave.
“I never fell asleep till you fell asleep. I was always (and I mean constantly) on the move. If you recall, I never imposed a curfew, despite the fact that I faced major security threats, and I instructed the army and police to get off the road. We dealt with them, and when they saw how determined we were, they left. Because of the uncertainty, I never slept at Bori Camp.”
RESPONDING, Wike claimed that his predecessor misled the public by blaming insecurity in the Rivers on unemployment.
“Is unemployment fueling insecurity in the APC-governed states of Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Ondo, Ebony, Imo, and Niger?” the governor asked in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri.
If Amaechi had any “modicum of sincerity,” Wike stated, he would attest that “security is solely the responsibility of the Federal Government.”
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