Presidency and Governor Rotimi Amaechi in war of words

The political war raging between the Rivers State Governor and the Presidency deepened, yesterday, with the presidency describing Governor Rotimi Amaechi as a rascal and warning him to stop insulting President Goodluck Jonathan or be ready to face the consequences of his utterances, including legal actions.

In a statement in Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said Amaechi’s penchant to insult the president and denigrate the office was an “irresponsible and rascally behaviour” which he said reached a new level in Port-Harcourt last Saturday.

At an event marking seven years of his victory at the Supreme Court on Saturday, Amaechi made series of allegations against the president and the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who he accused of fomenting trouble because he refused to share the resources of Rivers State with her.

However, in a strongly worded statement, Dr. Abati cautioned Amaechi to stop blackmailing the first lady as the only thing she demands from him is ”good governance, justice, equity, fairness, real development and progress in Rivers State” and not money as Amaechi claimed.

The statement read: “Governor Rotimi Amaechi took his obnoxious willingness to denigrate the highest office in the land in a reckless bid to advance his selfish political interests to a new level of irresponsible and rascally behaviour yesterday (Saturday) in Port Harcourt with his totally false and baseless vituperations against President Jonathan, the First Lady and the Federal Government.

“It appears from the governor’s completely unfounded and off-the-mark allegations that he had totally lost all sense of propriety, decorum and responsible political behaviour and resorted to unacceptable demagoguery, libel, blackmail and incitement of public disorder.

“Unless his unbridled ambition and desire for self- promotion have completely befuddled his mental faculties and caused him to totally lose touch with reality, Governor Amaechi must know that his claims and allegations are untrue.

“We can only assume therefore that he is deliberately spewing malicious falsehood in a desperate effort to incite the people of Rivers State and Nigeria against his assumed political foes.

“We warn him that there are legal, constitutional and moral limits to political rascality beyond which he will not be allowed to go without repercussions.

“The immunity which he currently enjoys notwithstanding, Governor Amaechi should be under no illusions: A day of reckoning will surely come when he will answer for all his actions and false allegations against President Jonathan, the First Lady and the Federal Government.

“He should also know that Nigerians are aware of the truth and will never be fooled or swayed by his arrant opportunism and anti-Jonathan rantings.

“Nigerians know that while Mr. Amaechi falsely accuses others of corruption, he cannot show or explain to the people of Rivers State what he has done with the billions of Naira that has accrued to the state under his tenure. They also know that while Amaechi continues to falsely accuse the Jonathan Administration of having done nothing for Rivers State, he has recklessly squandered huge state resources on dubious, vain-glorious projects or self aggrandizement.

“Nigerians will know too that while he falsely alleges that Rivers and other states have not received funds due to them from the Federation account, the only outstanding allocation was for September, which was released to all states well over a week ago.

“The Governor should stop trying to make President Jonathan the scapegoat for his woeful performance in Rivers State and look to his own very apparent failings and incompetencies.

“He should also stop blackmailing the First Lady who has demanded nothing from him other than good governance, justice, equity, fairness, real development and progress in Rivers State”.
At the Port Harcourt rally, last Saturday, Amaechi, who spoke on some of his achievements since he came on board, accused the Federal Government of frustrating his effort to provide potable water for Port Harcourt.
“We were to give Port Harcourt water. As I am talking to you, the Minister of Finance has refused to move the file back to the executive council for approval so that you can have water. They don’t care for you. Punish PDP with your vote”, he said.
Amaechi lashed out at the Federal Government, saying it had failed the people in several areas. “They said the reason the President is not performing in Rivers is because he is quarrelling with the governor. Okay, what is the quarrel with the governor of Cross River and Akwa Ibom that the road to Cross River is abandoned? Are they quarrelling too? It is more of lack of performance.”

The governor accused the President of taking some oil wells belonging to Rivers, adding that he did not encourage the state effectively to fight Ebola when it broke out in the state. “When Ebola broke out, to show you how much the President hates us, he visited Lagos. Did he visit us? He did not care. He wanted all of us to die. And I took it as a challenge and say none of us will die. I brought out money. It took the President at the end of Ebola to give us ordinary 200 million naira. I released one billion, one hundred and six million naira to fight Ebola. See our airport. The President lands there. We are like refugees”, he said.