27th October, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The drama between Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the presidency seems to have taken a new twist. In the latest spate of accusation and counter-accusation, Amaechi reminded the Presidency that President Goodluck Jonathan is not his ‘Prefect’, noting that, he cannot threaten him of sanctions for criticizing the president for not attracting developmental projects to the state.
The Presidency had angrily reacted to a claim made by Amaechi that the the cause of the frosty relationship between him and the Presidency was because President Goodluck Jonathan hates Rivers people and that the president ceded Soku oil wells in Kalabari to Bayelsa and 40 Etche oil wells also in Rivers to Abia state.
Amaechi also accused the wife of the president, Patience Jonathan of corruption. He said Patience wanted him to bring the money meant for Rivers people to Abuja.
In addition to that, Amaechi at a mega rally held in Port Harcourt on Saturday rubbished claims by President Jonathan that the All Progressive Congress (APC) was a party only on billboards.
And today, in his reply to the statement from the office of President Jonathan, which accused him of “Political rascality,” the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Ibim Semenitari said Governor Amaechi is an elected official and not a mere ‘prefect’.
Semenitari also faulted Reuben Abati, the President’s spokesman for failing to get his facts right before publishing the statement despite his wealth of experience.
She added that Amaechi never mentioned the name of the President nor his wife during his speech at the rally.
Semenitari said, “I would want to say that the Presidential Spokesman should be careful for the kind of threats he issues to an elected Governor.
“He should remember that the President is not a prefect of the governor. He was elected as President just as the Governor was elected as a governor, and Nigeria is a federation.
“And please, Abati should know his limits and need not attempt to cross his boundaries.
“It is a bit strange to hear the kind of comments coming out of the Presidency and this shows that the statement was already prepared before governor Amaechi spoke.
“At no point in his speech did Governor Amaechi make any references. His wife was not even discussed because she is not an official of government.
“I do not understand where or how Mr. Abati got his story, so we just take it that this is one of those clear indications of rascality within the Presidency trying to call a dog a bad name and hang it”.