Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has accused the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, of embezzlement of proceeds from the sales of the state aircraft and power stations.
The governor offered to resign from office if Amaechi could mention any federal project he has attracted to Rivers State as a minister since 2015.
Governor Wike made the remarks at the formal defection of two former chairmen of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr Davies Ikanya and Igo Aguma, as well as other chieftains of the opposition to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
The governor explained that Amaechi, the former governor, had claimed he sold a Dash 8 aircraft purchased by the administration of former Governor Dr Peter Odili to the Government of Cross River at the cost of $6 million, but has failed to account for the proceeds of the transaction till.
Similarly, the governor disclosed that through intelligence, the state government was able to trace the Dash 8 aircraft belonging the state government that was also purchased by the Odili administration to Germany, where Amaechi had clandestinely diverted it to in 2012.
Governor Wike said Amaechi’s reign in office as governor was characterised by financial malfeasance.
The governor maintained that the $308 million paid by Sahara Energy to acquire the State independent power projects was diverted by the minister.
He added tha Amaechi had spent $39.9 million of state funds on the non-existent Justice Karibi Whyte hospital in Port Harcourt.
The governor, who cited several projects he (Wike) attracted to Rivers State while he was Minister of State for Education under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, challenged Amaechi to emulate him by reviving the moribund Port Harcourt seaports in order to create employment opportunity for Rivers youths.
Governor Wike remarked that, but for his intervention, former Commissioner for Urban and Rural Planning, Dr Reason Onya, who recently defected to the APC, would have been charged for murder following his indictment by a Judicial Panel of Inquiry that investigated a multi-storey building that collapse in Port Harcourt and claimed several lives in 2018.
The State PDP chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, said the defection of Dr Ikanya, Aguma and others marked the formal interment of the opposition party in Rivers.
Narrating his reason for leaving the APC which he founded in Rivers State, Ikanya explained that he could not with good conscience remain in a political party that was built on deception.
According to him, all the expectation that the APC would provide security, create employment opportunities and better life for Nigerians have turned out to be a mirage.
Ikanya, who remains the only elected chairman of the APC in Rivers State, said it was regrettable that the party has been hijacked by persons who placed their personal interest far above the party.
He used the occasion to apologise to the governor and people of Rivers State for introducing the APC to the State, which has been peacefully governed by the PDP since 1999.
On his part, the former Caretaker Committee Chairman of APC, Igo Aguma, accused Amaechi of brainwashing him and others to join the APC.
He called on the Attorney General of the Federation to immediately investigate finances of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2016 and 2019.
Igo also called for the prosecution of the Minister of Transportation for mismanagement of over $317 million allegedly spent on 1.5 kilometer now abandoned monorail.
Among the APC chieftains who defected to PDP were: Ogbogbo Nnamdi, Isobo Jack (former caretaker chairman, APC), Paul Nwankwoala, (former APC legal adviser), Faaye Franklin, Andy Nweye (pioneer spokesperson of APC), Alamese Martins-Yellow, Ilamabo Mirila.
Others included: More Oja-Chinda, Benibo Anabraraba (former minority leader, Rivers State House of Assembly), Alphine Whyte, and Wisdom Wakama (former miniority leader, Rivers State House of Assembly).
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