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RIVERS: I won’t support Jonathan if he defects to APC to contest presidential election — Wike

*Says he made Amaechi, governor

GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike has faulted the claim of his predecessor in office, Rotimi Amaechi, that he was his employee during his time as governor of the state.

Wike said rather he made Amaechi governor of Rivers State.

The incumbent governor had served as chief of staff, when Amaechi was governor of the state.

Wike used to be an ally of Amaechi since the latter’s time as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly but a wedge was driven into their relationship when Amaechi defected to the All Progressives Congress ahead of the 2015.

Amaechi was later made the Minister of Transportation by the Buhari Administration.
Since then, Wike and Amaechi, the minister of transportation, have been at loggerheads.

Following the corruption allegation Wike made against his predecessor, Amaechi had recently said he won’t descend to exchanging words with the governor whom he described as his employee.

But in an interview with the BBC Pidgin service on Friday, Wike said it was not possible to be an employee of Amaechi whom he made governor.

The governor said Amaechi had forgotten when he said in a church that after God in his life, the second person was Wike.

He said it was because of the role he played that he chose to be Amaechi’s Chief of staff, when he became governor in October 2007, after a court victory that made him took the reins of power from Celestine Omehia.

The Supreme Court in a landmark ruling said Omehia was not the valid candidate of the PDP.

He said, “Amaechi 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,” he said.

“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.

“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. I have been governor for eight years now. In 2015 when I won, they said PDP was in power, but I also won again in 2019 when APC was in power.”

Wike again accused his predecessor of mismanaging the state funds when he was governor.

He alleged that Ameachi sold the state’s gas turbine for $308,000 and left his government with $208,000.

“See the monorail, just 1.5 kilometre, they said they spent N54 billion. I am not saying anybody is corrupt, but just see all these monies we have mentioned,” he said.

Wike also said he will not support former President Goodluck Jonathan if he contests for the 2023 presidency under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said Jonathan knows that he would work against him if he joined the APC and clinched the party’s ticket to run for the Presidency in 2023.

“I am a PDP member, if former President Goodluck Jonathan picks a ticket to run in my party, I will support him.

“But if he picks a ticket to run in APC, I won’t support him because I can’t do anti-party.

“He knows I won’t support him in APC even if he is from the south. I don’t do that kind of politics. It is party we are talking about and I don’t play ethnicity.”

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