Wike, Opara betrayed me - Amaechi
Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has described the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, as 'too small and insignificant to discuss.'
Wike, who is Amaechi's former Chief of Staff, has been involved in a long drawn political battle with the governor.
Amaechi said this while speaking on Saturday during a church service to mark the 60th birthday of the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief O.C.J. Okocha, at the Emmanuel Anglican Church in Port Harcourt.
The governor, who was reacting to the questions directed at him by the officiating priest, the Bishop of Anglican Communion, Niger Delta Diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, expressed regret that most of those that had betrayed him were from his Ikwerre ethnic group.
Amaechi recalled how he nominated some of his kinsmen, including Wike and the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Okpara, into political positions, adding that they turned around to betray him.
The governor said, 'This will be the first time I will be talking about my former Chief of Staff in public. My former Chief of Staff is too small for me to talk about. I don't want to discuss him and I have never done that before. Today will be my first and last day.
'There are men with character and there are men without character. I don't believe that money can solve all problems and I don't worship money.
'My greatest fear is that where am I going after here on earth? Let me also tell you that I have been betrayed several times in politics and majority of those who betrayed me are from my Ikwerre ethnic group.
'Before I became a Speaker, can we look back at Ikwerre history? We were crying; we wanted governor, we wanted this and that and the last ministerial appointment was Chief Emmanuel Aguma, a long time ago, and that was the last Ikwerre ministerial appointment.'
The governor, however, maintained that Opara betrayed him when it was time for the former deputy speaker to support him.
'Again, you can ask Mr. President, I submitted his name (Nyesom Wike) as minister. Where is he now? I, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, submitted his name as minister to President Jonathan. But where is he now? You must have character, you must be known for something,' Amaechi insisted.
Speaking on the Nigeria Governors' Forum crisis, Amaechi said a credible election was held, where the governors exercised their franchise and re-elected him as the chairman of the forum.
He said, 'There was an election. They are not denying that there was no election. They said, before the election, some governors had signed documents for them and they were 19 in number, and we conducted election. Eventually, the 19 governors later changed their minds and voted for me.'