The immediate past governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has accused his successor, Nyesom Wike, of using provocative utterances and smear campaigns against his person as a cover to loot billions of naira from the state treasury.
In a statement issued, Monday, the former governor alleged that Governor Wike is trying to intimidate, threaten and blackmail officials of his (Amaechi’s) administration, including civil servants, into making false, phony and bogus claims of alleged corruption and corrupt practices against him and his wife, Dame Judith.
It would be recalled that during the post-inauguration thanksgiving service in Port Harcourt on Sunday, Mr. Wike had accused his predecessor of vandalising properties in the Government House.
According to Wike, items like bullet proof doors, carpets, cars, furniture, curtains and windows were taken away by Mr. Amaechi.
The governor on Monday took his allegation a step further by leading members of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on a tour of the Government House, showing them the extent of the vandalism of the place.
But in his statement, Amaechi said that Mr. Wike had gone to “ridiculous and absurd” lengths to show his imaginary claims of vandalisation and looting in Government House in his bid to vote billions of naira for renovation of the place.
“I am aware that this (Monday) morning, Wike in company of his coterie of court jesters took some video cameramen and photographers on a tour of the Governor’s residence inside Government House”, Mr. Amaechi said in a statement issued by David Iyofor, his spokesperson.
“He took them to the Governor’s bedroom where he made further claims that the place have been looted.
“The question to ask is, did Wike know what was in my former bedroom before now to conclude that the bedroom was looted? Did he speak with or review with the Permanent Secretary of Government House, who is the chief accounting officer before jumping into such hasty and misguided conclusion?
“Apparently, he had already reached a conclusion before arriving Government House, and all he has been saying and doing is to work towards that conclusion of looting and vandalisation”.
Mr. Amaechi accused the governor of barring key Government House officials, civil servants, from accessing the place on May 29th, and then turning around to say it had been looted 48 hours later.
“This doesn’t smell right. I left the place intact. If there’s any vandalisation or looting in Government House after I left, Rivers people should ask Wike what happened”.
“This is clearly a grand conspiracy to siphon state funds in the guise of renovating a vandalized and looted Government House and falsely smear my image. On the latter, Wike is sparing no expense, employing all sorts of insidious tactics to accuse me and rub me with the tar of corruption”.
Mr. Amaechi also stated that a video purportedly showing the looting and vandalisation of Government House, Port Harcourt, was stage-managed.
“The video is a fraud; stage-managed to deceive and hoodwink the public”, he said.