Rivers Government Say Amaechi Being Held Hostage By Soldiers in Ondo Town
Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi is being held hostage by soldiers in an Ondo town, South West of Nigeria, the state announced on Thursday.
Amaechi was travelling to Ekiti State to attend a political rally ahead of the Ekiti State Governorship election slated for Saturday.
There are also reports that Governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and some chieftains of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) are being blocked from entering Ekiti State.
Earlier in the day, a chopper that was to fly Oshiomhole to Ekiti was grounded at the Benin Airport by the Air Force even though it was allowed to take off about three hours later.
In a statement by Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, the state said 'Governor Amaechi was ambushed and refused entry into Ekiti by military personnel acting on orders from above. He made to turn back and return to Akure where his chattered aircraft was parked but was chased and rounded by armed soldiers and security personnel in Odudu, Ondo state. According to the captain who led the operation, he had orders not to allow the governor entry or exit.'
The text of the statement reads: 'The Rivers State Government is concerned about the safety of Governor Amaechi who is right now being held hostage commando style by soldiers and federal government security agents in Odudu, Ondo state.
Governor Amaechi as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors' forum and as an APC governor and chieftain had left Port Harcourt this morning for Ekiti state where he was to join his brother governor in his last mega rally before the elections.
Governor Amaechi was ambushed and refused entry into Ekiti by military personnel acting on orders from above. He made to turn back and return to Akure where his chattered aircraft was parked but was chased and rounded by armed soldiers and security personnel in Odudu, Ondo state. According to the captain who led the operation, he had orders not to allow the governor entry or exit.
In the meantime, the chattered aircraft that conveyed he governor has been grounded while the ministers of Defence, police Affairs and Minister of state for Defence have landed at the Akure airport.
The Rivers State government is especially worried that Federal government and President Jonathan have singled out Governor Amaechi for harassment and attack.
While we hold the person and office of the President in utmost regards, we believe that it is unacceptable that the presidency would disrespect the person and office of an elected governor of a federating unit and consistently hound him.
The Rivers state government is all more worried as Ondo saga is coming on the heels of a plot by six PDP lawmakers this morning to carry out a kangaroo impeachment of the duly elected governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, con first at Krisdara hotels and later Bauchi street, Port Harcourt.
Ordinarily such banality should be ignored as it is neither legal nor constitutional. However in the light of the recent attempts to hoist a Chief Judge on Rivers people through the back door and the attendant rumours that the reason for that desperate act was to make it easier for the PDP to actualize its sinister daydream of ousting Governor Amaechi before May 29, 2015, we believe that it has become necessary to draw the attention of Rivers people, Nigerians and the international community to the situation in Rivers State.
Only yesterday, in preparation for this tragicomedy, the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused Governor Amaechi of importing terrorists into the state and the region. They continued their diatribe by demanding that the governor of Rivers State be put under surveillance. The State Government wouldn't have dignified the PDP's display of ignorance with a response but for the fact that these accusations coupled with today's actions are omniuos signs of how far the PDP is willing to go in its quest to cling onto power by all means.
The antecedents of impunity on the part of the leadership of the PDP are instructive and the party's desperation to harm and stop anyone they perceive as major threat to their crumpling electoral fortunes next year is no longer news. The detention attempt and incident at the Kano International Airport last week are still fresh in the minds of Nigerians. Also, the call to put Gov Amaechi under surveillance (or is it house arrest?) on the same day that PDP started effort to unseat the Governor of Adamawa State, His Excellency, Murtala Nyako, is enough indication of the script already written by a jittery PDP.
It is sad that the insane minds of the authors of the PDP accusation are jeopardizing police investigations of the 486 travellers who were intercepted in Aba, Abia State, and who are still being screened. One only wishes that the PDP would address the issues of the insecurity in the country with as much fervor and vigour as it deploys towards witch hunting its political opponents.
The River Government wishes to state that the world knows those who feather the nest of cultists and militants and for whom they are cannon fodder. Governor Amaechi's position on cultism, violence and insecurity are clear as is his commitment to fighting poverty and improving the lives of our present and future generations.
The Rivers State Government will not be deterred in its efforts to deliver good governance and democratic dividends to our people.
We appeal to all Rivers people appeals to all members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and citizens in the state to remain calm in the face of these provocations.
We call on the Security Agencies to exhibit professionalism in their conduct of affairs. We appeal to all well meaning people in Nigeria and around the world to please call the PDP to order before they truncate our democracy.
It appears to us that the PDP clearly have no interest in the peace and stability either Rivers state.
We are mindful of these mischievous elements but continue to call for tolerance and eternal vigilance. We are certain that the God who reigns in the affairs of Rivers people will again deliver us from this evil and terror that stalks us at noon day.