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Amaechi Alleged Misappropriation of N500b: The Imagination of the Reporter

By Ikenga Igbo

When some people were unable to gain their dream prominence through genuine course they switch over to illegality to gain such dream stardom. Such illegal stardom is the type members of a faceless group parading with the name, Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform, is trying to gain with the publication of calumny against the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi as published in the pointblanknews.com.

The heinous group, due to lack of job or lack of meeting with the governor to air their grievances published the story in the pointblanknews.com with the caption: Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi alleged misappropriation of N500 billion naira.

Following that report, the Action Congress Rivers State in its reaction gaped that the report said that the success of the last Ghanaian Presidential election was hinged on the massive injection of funds to the Mills campaign machinery by Amaechi, a 'whopping' sum of Four hundred Million Naira paid through Jerrry Rawlings. The facts of this report should have included details like; how this amount was transferred, mode of transfer, details of issuing bank in the case of a cheque and other pertinent issues in this regard…This begs the question in the minds of most NDC officials in Ghana who on receipt of this malicious report, started questioning the rational behind Professor Mills struggle to win the election by a mere 40,000 votes when monies like that were available for massive mobilisation. If the amount did not reach the NDC party how come the success of the party is ascribed to the alleged N400M donated by the Rivers State?.....The report also stated that Amaechi had invested over N1 Billion in selected companies in Ghana, in a manner designed to outwit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of his home country. From where did Amaechi get this whopping sum of fund to invest in Ghana's blue chip companies and to what end? This again is a hatchet job borne of flights of fancy as Amaechi has no means of siphoning such amount of money to invest considering the serious checks put in by his administration to forestall looting of public funds. But even if it were possible, why invest in Ghana which Rivers State alone is richer and better placed? Rivers state which he sits atop today as the governor is not only richer but has political prominence in the international scene more than Ghana. What is his political or economic interest in Ghana? Or is this fantastical report due largely to the fact that Ghana was where he went to in the face of the injustices he faced at the time his 2007 mandate was stolen? Was the Ghanaian election worth spending that kind of money? Definitely not! Those behind such a baseless story should know that the era of cheap blackmail has passed. Nigerians now know better.

This trash called article now being copied from the pointblanknews.com and published in many news media has not only achieved a negative result but has gone as far as embarrassing persons who believed much in the governor. Such persons are like me who is doing a case study on the governor to differentiate democrat from politician, which the governor has not betrayed me of being a democrat.

As a citizen journalist, after I read the jaded article, I left my abode in Orumba of Anambra State to Port Harcourt to make my findings through my source, only to be betrayed that the faceless group is only seeking for “Ghana-must-goes” which the governor promised his people that he would not be giving again from the inception of his administration.

I was so much shocked that the Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi alleged misappropriation of N500 billion naira was only the imagination of the faceless group who would have said that it is hungry but refused to say so.

Its campaign of calumny was only orchestrated to hoodwink the general public who believed so much in the achievements the governor has recorded in the state in his quest to give the Rivers people the best of governance.

Perhaps, the faceless group is playing the script of their master(s). It refused to embark on findings before exhibiting its ignorance of the state for people to laugh at. The group refused to tell the public as follows:

(1) That in 2007, three hundred students were sent to Britain and Canada on scholarship to study through the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency.

(2) At the same time, another group went to Malaysia to study.

(3) Poverty alleviation and Economic Empowerment were also embarked upon by the agency.

(4) General Administration and Miscellaneous funded these programmes.

(5) The Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) had testified that Amaechi-led administration of Rivers State has excelled in the medical sector, than it met it.

(6) The government has a quality health sector care programme.

(7) The government is building two hundred and fifty primary schools in the 23 L.G.As.

(8) The government has completed 60 health centres out of 150.

(9) The other 90 health centres are at various stages of completion, amongst other achievements the governor had recorded in the state.

I wouldn't know if the faceless group understands what it was meant by BUDGET or did it just included BUDGET into its byline? It would have compared budget estimates and implementation of the state in the areas of education and health care for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and generalize before bringing itself to the ridicule of public glare.

Without wasting more of my ink, the members of this faceless Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform would have been by now on the stake if this was a military government for their witch-hunting story. But since democracy allows everybody entitlement to opinion, I think such opinion of this group is hogwash.

Ikenga Igbo writes from Orumba, Anambra State.