With Barely two weeks to the May 29 hand over date, anxiety is mounting in Rivers State over the refusal of outgoing Governor, Rotimi Amaechi to constitute a transition committee that will liase with new incoming government for a smooth transition.
While Amaechi has announced that he will handover, the incoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Government is crying foul over the development describing it as a ploy by the outgoing governor not to hand over power.
The situation further degenerated at the weekend, when the deputy governor of the state, Tele Ikuru, who has defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)? describedAmaechi?s action in not constituting the committee to liase with the incoming government as irresponsible. Expectedly, his comment has received flaks from the APC in the state which described him as a betrayer.
Chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the PDP, Bro Felix Obuah said Governor Amaechi?s admission of readiness to hand over on May 29 should be backed up by inaugurating a Transition Committee to interface with the Transition Committee inaugurated by the Governor-elect, Barr. NyesomWike.
Speaking through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam, the PDP State chairman, regretted that just a few weeks to the swearing-in date, Amaechi is yet to set up complementary Transition Committee to ensure a smooth handover.
According to him, GovAmaechi has no reason not to comply with the rule of law by doing the needful, which is handing over to the Governor-elect on the scheduled date whether he likes it or not.
?It?s a moral obligation and he is duty bound to do so, as not doing so is not only undemocratic but also felonious?, the PDP Boss reasoned.
Obuah said reason why Amaechi has refused to inaugurate his Transition Committee to interface with the Governor-elect?s Transition Committee borders on fraudulent practices of his government.
How can Amaechi explain demolition of Primary Schools across the State without rebuilding them, abandon projects littered all over the State, non payment of Civil Servants and pensioners salaries and allowances andBillions of Naira unpaid loans?
Also dismissing GovAmaechi?s argument that his deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru, is already part of the PDP?s Transition Committee to justify his participation, the State chairman while describing the argument as uncharitable, said there is a clear line of distinction between the outgoing administration led by Amaechi taking part in, and facilitating the process of his handover and his deputy, who is a PDP member and does not represent the APC government.
On the allegation of complicity between the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which the APC said was responsible for the PDP?s landslide victory, Obuah advised Amaechi to stop belaboring the issue of the elections since he has approached the election petition tribunal but should do the needful, that is setting up a complementary Transition Committee and co-operating with the Governor-elect, Barr. NyesomWike for a smooth and peaceful handover.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Chapter of APC has branded Deputy Governor Tele Ikuru as the modern Judas who is willing to sell his master for material gain. The party in a statement in Port Harcourt by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies IbiamuIkanya, lambasted Engr. Ikuru for his unprovoked attack on Governor Amaechi.
?We read with shock the description of Governor Amaechi as ?irresponsible? by Engr. Tele Ikuru during his ill-fated press conference in Port Harcourt few days ago, which he addressed in his new capacity as the Chairman of the Transition Committee set up by Chief NyesomeWike, the INEC-declared Governor of Rivers State.
It is sad that after serving as Amaechi?s Deputy for over seven years, Ikuru, who several times in the past described Gov. Amaechi as the Hero of Rivers Politics and the best political exponent from the State, is suddenly singing a different tune. This is the height of ingratitude and paints Ikuru in his true colours as a Judas who is ever ready to sell his master for mundane gain,? Rivers APC said.
The party described Ikuru?s attack on Amaechi as unwarranted, saying: ?Amaechi?s love for Ikuru is legendary. He chose him as his Deputy despite Ikuru having teamed up with Sir Celestine Omehia and others to frustrate Amaechi?s governorship ambition during the ill-fated PDP Primaries of 2007. With God?s intervention the Supreme Court in its wisdom revalidated Amaechi?s mandate as the authentic PDP guber candidate, thus making him the Governor.
?In 2011, against the advice of many well-meaning Rivers people, Amaechi went ahead to again select Ikuru as his running mate as he successfully sought re-election. It is also instructive that Governor Amaechi has refrained from either speaking ill of Engr. Ikuru or engineering his removal as Deputy Governor despite his defection from APC to the opposition PDP shortly before the 2015 elections. For Ikuru to now have the effrontery to describe his benefactor, a fellow who loves him with all his heart and who on various occasions left the running of Rivers State in his care, as a disgraceful leader does not only show him as an ingrate of the highest order but also indicates that Engr. Ikuru may need to subject himself to psychiatric tests.?
Rivers APC said while it is understandable for Ikuru to be tempted to engage in excesses in view of Wike?s promise to appoint him as the Secretary to State Government (SSG), he should tread with caution, especially as the declaration of Wike as Governor would soon be reversed by the Election Petition Tribunal.
The party congratulated the gubernatorial candidates of KOWA party, Mr. KemkaElenwo;?All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr. Charles Harry; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr. Minaibim Harry; and Labour Party (LP), Prince TonyePrincewill, for joining APC?s governorship candidate, Dr. DakukuPeterside, to challenge Wike?s purported election at the Election Petition Tribunal. ?With the evidences adduced by all these great Rivers State leaders, we are confident that bloodthirsty desperados who believe that they can seize the governorship seat by hook or crook will soon be put to shame and showed the exit door by the Tribunal,?