Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, weekend, traded words, accusing each other of corruption and mismanaging the resources of the state. Amaechi accused his successor, Wike, of allegedly squandering about N50 billion since he assumed office on May 29, while on his part, Governor Wike alleged that the Minister of Transport frittered away about N3 trillion as governor of the state, stressing that Amaechi’s administration had the highest record of abandoned projects in the history of governance in the state since its creation in 1967.
Amaechi, who spoke on a radio programme in Port Harcourt, said that the state will be flooded with security men on March 19, the day of the re-run election to guard against rigging. Wike and Amaechi He challenged Governor Wike to show Rivers people what he had done with money borrowed and federal allocation that had accrued to the state since he came on board. The former governor recalled several projects he executed in the state.
Governor Wike, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr Austin Tam-George, after the radio programme, cited the abandoned monorail project started by the former governor, adding that Amaechi allegedly awarded several contracts running into billions of naira to cronies without following due process. The commissioner, who briefed newsmen in his office in Port Harcourt, also spoke on some of the successes so far recorded by Governor Wike since he assumed office, adding that they included rehabilitation of over 100 kilometres of roads.
His words: “Mr Amaechi should have used the opportunity of the live interviews to give account of his disastrous and visionless administration. Despite receiving over N3 trillion in revenue in eight years, Amaechi left the most abandoned projects in the history of Rivers State, since 1967. “Amaechi awarded school contracts worth billions of naira to his cronies without following due process.
Today, the abandoned monorail project for which Amaechi spent N60 billion stands out in its mammoth ugliness on Azikiwe Road, Port Harcourt. It is a headstone to the corruption and waste that characterized his era. “But since he assumed office eight months ago, Governor Wike has de-politicised development and reconstructed roads and other projects abandoned by Amaechi. Over 100 kilometres of roads across the state, including roads in Borikiri and Origwe, where Amaechi once lived, had been revamped. “What were the state of the roads in Diobu and Okaki in Borikiri during Amaechi’s tenure? Today, those roads have been totally reconstructed by the Wike government. The school contracts and other projects with doubtful legality and value are being comprehensively reviewed by the Wike administration.
“Under Wike, 40,000 small and medium scale entrepreneurs are set to benefit from a N2 billoin Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, loan guaranteed by the Rivers State Government. Under the Amaechi administration, there is no record of how N4 billion agricultural loan granted by the CBN was used. No farmer benefited from a loan taken in their name.” Meantime, Mr Amaechi said he had relocated to the state to mobilize members of his All Progressives Congress, APC for the rerun elections.