6th September, 2010
Barely a week after Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State threw a challenge atÂ anybody criticizing his administration of corruption and frittering away the wealth ofÂ Rivers people an open public debate, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, the former Nigerian Secretary to theÂ State Government, SSG, and former Minister of Transport, has accepted the challenge.
Amaechi threw the challenge in an interactive session during the Summit on Information,Â Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Dr. Sekibo has not only accepted the challenge, heÂ accused Governor Amaechi of deceiving Rivers people.
According to Sekibo who spoke to Port Harcourt-based radio station LOVE FM,97.7: â€œThis is aÂ Governor who claims that he has saved over N100 billion naira in compulsory savings forÂ Rivers yet he is borrowing about N130 billion naira through the approval of the house ofÂ Assembly where only one voice(legislator) opposed it.â€
Sekiboalso said that during the public debate, which would be anchored by professionalÂ bodies like the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and the Nigerian Institute of PublicÂ Relations, NIPR, he was ready to confront Governor Amaechi on â€œfacts and figures about howÂ his administration has mortgaged the future of the children of Rivers State.â€
On the claim by Amaechi that his administration is being blackmailed because he has refusedÂ to grant the demand by some individuals to share Rivers money, Sekibo said: â€œI challenge himÂ to call the names of such persons, the place and time. It is all lies. The so-calledÂ request, if it is true, is a criminal offence. Why has he not reported such persons to EFCC,Â Code of Conduct Bureau and other anti-graft agencies?â€
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt