Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, was a total failure as Minister of Transportation, saying he brought nothing to his state.
Also, he took a swipe at Amaechi, saying the Rivers State Government did not give state burial to late four-time Minister Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, and Amechi did nothing when the elder statesman was ill.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the re-constructed ultra-modern seven-storey office complex in Port Harcourt on Monday.
He said even the Rail Line, done in other parts of the country under Amaechi’s supervision, never got to the former Minister’s state while he held the position for seven years.
He said, “Tell Rivers State people. As a former Minister of Transportation what did you do for your people for seven good years?
“All you were interested in is doing business with CCECC (a Chinese firm). Up till now, no gauge we have not seen anyone from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. Show Rivers people what you did for them.”
Wike said as a Minister under former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, he attracted a lot of development to the state and gave grants to some tertiary institutions in the state and wondered why Amaechi, who was termed a super minister, could not do the same for his state.
“When I was a minister – a junior minister for that matter – I brought the Faculty of Law in the University of Port Harcourt. I brought Oil and Gas Polytechnic to Bonny.
“As a junior minister, I gave grants to Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic and the Ignatius Ajuru University, Port Harcourt. As a jounior minister, I renovated most of the Secondary Schools in this state. Tell us what you brought a grade ‘A’ Minister what you brought,” Wike said.
He added, “You are not happy that the state did not give Alabo Graham Douglas a state burial. This state government committed so much money to make sure Alabo survives. We didn’t spend less than N50 million to make sure our beloved statesman survives.
It is his survival we want. We wanted him to be alive. When his son had an accident and was flown to London, this state government took the cost. We don’t need to have said all these things.”
Wike, however, regretted that people brought politics to the burial of a respected elder statesman, pointing out that people like to eulogise the dead, but fail to do so when they are still alive.
The governor continued, “Why would I do that when I saw you people have brought politics to the man’s burial? I told myself I don’t want to be involved in this man’s burial.
“We like to eulogize the dead, we don’t like to eulogize the living. When Alabo was alive, how did you eulogise him to do something in his name?
“But when I came, I honoured him and gave him the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State. He was not dead when I gave him. It was not a posthumous award.
“So please, this should be your last time to open your mouth to talk about this state because you are a total failure as far as this state is concerned.
“Even what is supposed to come to us, you block it. But we didn’t bother. Do you think you will not finish as a Minister? I hear he can’t even enter the Villa now.
“All those periods, you intimidate us with police and army people. It is over.”
Wike mentioned that the project being inaugurated renamed ‘Senator John Mbata’s House’ was a hideout for criminals, adding that some persons tried to take over the property which belonged to the state to no avail.