Impeachment: Eight pro-Amaechi lawmakers defect to Wike's camp

By The Rainbow

There are indications that Gov Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State is gradually losing stand in the state's House of Assembly, thereby compounding fears that he may be heading for impeachment

This fears heightened on Wednesday as eight members of the House of Assembly were said to have shifted loyalty to the camp of the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, THE PUNCH reports.

Though the names of the lawmakers were not mentioned, the number of anti-Amaechi state legislators has suddenly swollen to 13 out of 32.

Five members of the House had, from the outset, taken a position against the governor since the beginning of the crisis which is threatening the existence of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.

But the Speaker of the House, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree, said the number of members of the House, who had been swayed against the governor, was not enough to impeach the governor.

Amachree, who spoke with a correspondent of the The PUNCH  through his Media Assistant, Mr. Jim Okpiki, said that with 19 lawmakers on the side of the governor, it would be difficult to remove (Amaechi).

He said, 'We are aware that between five and eight lawmakers have compromised and are making moves to impeach the governor. But they don't have enough number to impeach the state governor.

'They have to impeach the Speaker first before thinking of removing the governor because he (Speaker) will not betray the governor. Mr. Speaker is never a traitor and he (Amachree) has not seen any reason why he should give up on Amaechi.

'Apart from that, the lawmakers that have compromised would have to tell the world the governor's offence, because as far as we are concerned, Governor Amaechi has not committed any impeachable offence.'

The Speaker challenged the compromised lawmakers to come out in the open and explain to Rivers people why they had decided to betray the governor.

It was, however, learnt that the eight lawmakers, who were swayed to Wike's camp during a meeting held outside the state, decided to hide their intention in order not to jeopardise the plan to unseat the governor.

Amaechi had, during an interaction with some youths in the state, declared that he was not afraid of being impeached, saying he had done his best for the development of the state.

He urged the people to use their voter cards to remove 'irresponsible governments' from public office in 2015.

It will be recalled that the House of Assembly had adjourned sine die (indefinitely) after suspending the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Mr. Timothy Nsirim, even as a caretaker committee was sworn in to oversee the affairs of the council.

The development had deepened the political crisis in the state, with security operatives from the state Police Command sealing off the council secretariat about a month ago.