Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of plotting to bomb INEC offices, destroy voting materials at registration area centres and disrupt the peaceful conduct of the Saturday elections in the state.
Wike explained that Amaechi was purportedly in liaison with some military and police officers, planning to allegedly carry out the attack on INEC offices.
The governor also declared Friday, February 15, 2019 as public holiday for Rivers people to pray for God’s intervention in ensuring that the elections were peaceful.
In a state broadcast on Thursday ahead of the general elections, Wike said credible intelligence revealed the plot of the minister.
The governor said, “Credible intelligence has linked Rotimi Amaechi and his cohorts in the factionalised APC with plans to prevent the peaceful conduct of the general elections in Rivers State with the support of some unpatriotic military and police officers.”
He said several Hilux vehicles painted in military colours and gunboats donated by a top official of Nigeria Ports Authority had been handed over to the militants to carry out the attacks across the state.
Wike expressed worry over what he described as needless threats of violence by the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council at the party’s last presidential rally on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.
The governor described the internal crisis rocking the APC in the state as the consequence of Amaechi’s arrogance and refusal to follow due process.
“It is therefore most unfortunate that instead of using internal party mechanisms to settle the festering crisis before it was too late, Rotimi Amaechi chose to act with impunity and is now hunted by the unpleasant outcomes of his arrogance and disdain for due process.
“Even at that, the Supreme Court has spoken and the only rational path left for Rotimi Amaechi is to recognise the fact that justice has prevailed over impunity,” he added.
The governor, however, advised him to be political mature to accept the consistent decisions of the courts in good faith and wait for 2023 elections.
He maintained that Rivers State remained peaceful and ready for the general elections, even as he warned against any negative action that could upset the peace of the state and disrupt her economic processes.
In his reaction, Amaechi said he had never hired militants or thugs for any reason since he joined politics 33 years ago, challenging any politician to show evidence that he had ever been involved in hiring thugs to cause destruction.
Describing Wike’s allegations as false, he said, “I joined politics 33 years ago, let one politician either at the national or state level say he attended a meeting with Amaechi where I discussed about hiring thugs.”
The minister, however, alleged that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, was interested in ensuring that Wike got a second term in office as governor of Rivers State.
Amaechi pointed out that Yakubu was the Director of TETFUND when Wike was the Minister of State for Education.
He said, “INEC is always working for the PDP. For an example, there is a stay of execution granted by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, just because the INEC chairman was a director of TETFUND when Wike was the minister, he has refused to implement the judgment.”