Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has refuted claims that he was just a ‘staff’ to his predecessor Rotimi Ameachi, insisting that Ameachi became Governor on the heels of his support.
What seems to be a counter-attack of a previous statement made by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has fired more shots at his Predecessor.
It will be recalled that Ameachi in a recent interview had said he would not stoop so low to battle words with his successor, saying Wike was his chief of staff and under his employ during his tenure as governor.
According to Ameachi:
I don’t think I want to address the issue of the governor, I have made my point and I have moved on,” Amaechi had said.
“He was my staff, I can’t bring myself low. I was a governor, I was also a speaker, I’m a minister. I was two-term chairman of governors’ forum. The same when I was a speaker. Why should I be discussing him?
However, in a counter reaction to Ameachi’s statement, Wike in an interview with the BBC Pidgin service on Friday, said Ameachi became Governor only by the support he (Wike) and some political leaders in the PDP had at the time.
In his words:
Ameachi and I were in the same party, and in politics, everybody has his own ambition. He had his ambition to be governor, and at the time, I didn’t. So, we fought and supported him to be governor.
Governor Wike affirmed his resistance against the Ameachi-led polity in the state, saying there was bound to be a clash of interests as both him and his predecessor were no longer in the same political family.
Wike in his interview session revealed how relevant he had been in the political journey of Ameachi in the state prior to his defection, adding the Current Minister of Transportation could not dispel that fact.
Now he’s in APC, and you don’t expect me as a PDP person to support what he does. I was the one God used to make Amaechi governor. I will even give you a tape from what he said in the church; that after God, I’m next. But when he was talking the other day, saying I was his staff, his employee, I said no problem.
We all sat to make you governor, and I was the one who championed it. How do you call someone who made you governor an employee? When he became governor, he asked me; how are we going to run this government, and he offered me to be commissioner of finance, but I said no, let me be in the chief of staff office.
Wike refuted Ameachi’s claims said he had stood his ground in both the 2015 and the 2019 elections in Rivers State where he defeated Ameachi on both occasions.
That time I made him governor, I had power to choose. People know in this state. With his APC, did they even score 25 percent here during the 2015 and 2019 elections? His staff stopped him from winning Rivers for his presidential candidate? Stopped him from winning the governorship election for his candidate? Not even a senatorial seat?
Well, we have passed that. He said over his dead body will I be governor, now I am looking for that dead body.
He also recounted his two victories in the state governorship election, said he won both elections even with the strong resistance from the opposition.
In 2015 when I won, they said PDP was in power, but I also won again in 2019 when APC was in power.
Although both Wike and Ameachi have been at loggerheads since 2015, there are speculations that a possible presidential ambition from both of them could be the underlying reason for the opening of old wounds and war of words.