Chukwudi Akasike and Dennis Naku
A member of Wike’s transition committee, now Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Prof. Henry Ugboma, has accused the Rivers State Governor of setting an agenda to discredit his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Speaking on Arise TV programme on Monday, Ugboma stated that tarnishing Amaechi’s image was Wike’s number one agenda even before his inauguration as governor of the state.
Ugboma said, “I can rightly tell you that the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has this paranoid issue against the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi. I noticed this as a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and that was one of the reasons I left the party.
“I was a member of the transition committee set up by Wike immediately after the election to marshal out and put together things that will destroy the honourable Minister of Transportation, and Governor Wike immediately set us to task, that we must derive, contrived things that will mess up Amaechi and destroy him politically, and make sure that he doesn’t take up any political position in the country.”
Ugboma detailed how Wike planned to make a public spectacle of Amaechi to deny him the chance of serving in President Buhari’s cabinet, including the judicial panel of inquiry established to indict him Amaechi using false, cooked up reports.
“They came up with plans to destroy one after another, all the laudable projects that Amaechi did, all were setup, accusing him that he stole so much money from even the institutions that he dealt with, but all were lies.
He added, “A panel of inquiry was set up and the reports that we brought out from the transition committee was sent to the Justice Omereji panel. Remember, this Omereji later turned out to be the man who stopped the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State from being on the ballot in 2019.”
Also, one of Amaechi’s allies, Sen Andrew Uchendu, wondered why Wike had made it his primary responsibility to continuously attempt to tarnish Amaechi’s image instead of building on, and sustaining the laudable projects Amaechi put up for the state.
Reacting, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, dismissed Ugboma’s statement, saying, “Did Amaechi hand over to Wike? He did not hand over to the man. This was the same man (Amaechi) that said he would see where Wike would get money to pay salaries.
“The Judicial panel indicted him (Amaechi). He went to High Court, he lost. He went to Appeal Court, he lost. The matter is at the Supreme Court now.
“He (Amaechi) did not hand over. Governor Wike had to start from the scratch. Amaechi left behind three months unpaid salaries, five months pension arrears. So, there is nothing like Wike wanted to (discredit the former governor).
“The man who took over reigns of governance had to look for a way to start governance and he needed to get information through the judicial process because not even one line of paper was given to him. It was the only state in country where there was no hand-over in 2015.”