Amaechi told me I was next in his life after God — Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said God used him to make the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the state governor in 2007, claiming that the Amaechi said he was next in his life after God.

Meanwhile, Wike said he would not support former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, if he picked the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress to contest the 2023 Presidential election.

Wike said this in an interview with BBC Pidgin in Port Harcourt, the state capital, monitored by our correspondent.

He said the minister had stated in a church that he (Wike) came next in his life after God and told him to freely choose any position in his government having played a key role in the Amaechi’s emergence as governor.

The governor further said Amaechi wanted to appoint him as commissioner, but that he rejected it to take the position of Chief of Staff.

He said, “I was not close to Amaechi. We were just in the same party and in politics everybody has an ambition. He has his own. I don’t regret that as of that time, we preferred him to be governor.  We fought it and God crowned our efforts and he became a governor.

“He is in APC and I am in PDP. So don’t expect me to support what he is doing in APC. He said I was his employee. What he said was not good. God used me to make him the governor. I will give you a tape where Amaechi spoke in church saying after God, I came next. But when he spoke the other day, he said I was his employee. No problem, but an employee that dealt with him here (Rivers State).”

The governor said he had never personally accused his predecessor of corruption, instead a judicial commission of inquiry in the state had indicted the minister for the alleged misappropriation of $308m realised from the sale of the Rivers State assets.

He also explained that the judicial commission indicted the Amaechi-led administration for allegedly wasting N54bn on the abandoned 1.4 kilometer monorail project.

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According to him, the minister had challenged his indictment in both Federal High Court and Court of Appeal, and lost the case.

In a separate development, Wike said he would not support former President Goodluck Jonathan if he picked the ticket of the APC to contest the 2023 Presidential election.

Wike while speaking to the BBC pidgin at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Saturday, according to a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri.

“If President Jonathan is given the APC presidential ticket, he knows that I will not support him.  I will not engage in anti-party activities. Even if he is from the South, I will not endorse him. What is paramount is my party’s interest,” Wike stated.

He affirmed that if Jonathan secures the PDP presidential ticket, Rivers State would support him.

Wike however said if zoning the PDP presidential ticket to the North would make the party win the 2023 general election, he would support the decision.

He revealed that he would make decision over his political future in July 2022 when he must have completed all the projects started by his administration.

Reacting to Wike’s claims, the spokesman for the APC in Rivers State, Ogbonna Nwuke, said the governor was being economical with the truth.

He said, “I think Wike was a chairman of the council and the man that he claimed he made Governor was responsible for his second tenure as chairman, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area.

“On account of Wike’s struggle in Obio-Akpor, the State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, impeached the deputy chairman in order to pave the way for Wike to do a second tenure.

“He (Wike) was appointed Chief of Staff, I was appointed director press and (Magnus) Abe was appointed Secretary to the State Government. That made Wike Amaechi’s employee because as chief of staff, he was answerable directly to the one who appointed him and that person who appointed him then was the governor. Wike did not make Amaechi a governor.”

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