THE Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, said yesterday that Governor Rotimi Amaechi with whom he is currently locked in a bitter battle for the soul of the state is paying the price of underrating him.
Wike, the arrowhead of the opposition to the governor, described Amaechi as a tyrant who does not take kindly to those with ambition.
He spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt against the backdrop of last Wednesday’s court ruling nullifying the take-over of the functions of the State House of Assembly by the National Assembly and attempts by members of the State Assembly on both sides of the divide to return to the complex.
The Police dispersed the assemblymen and their supporters on Thursday and Friday as they gathered to gain entry into the building.
Wike, a former Chief of Staff to Amaechi, is widely believed to be nursing an ambition to succeed the governor in 2015. He is also believed to be favoured by the presidency which is fighting its own battle with the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum.
The National Assembly has signified its intention to appeal the court’s decision, but Wike declared yesterday that the people of the state would resist further move by the National Assembly to take over the running of the state assembly.
He also vowed that nothing could stop him should he decide to contest the 2015 governorship election in the state.
He dismissed suggestions that he betrayed Amaechi who made him chief of staff.
He said that as far as the governor is concerned it is a criminal offence to have an ambition.
But responding to Wike’s tirade against Amaechi, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Tony Okocha, said the minister is confused and lacks the qualities required to govern the state.
“Rivers people will not allow Wike to be governor of the state, after enjoying good governance from Governor Amaechi,” he said.
“It is not true that Governor Amaechi is a tyrant. Decisions are always taken by the Rivers State Executive Council. Rivers Governor gave Wike a free hand as the Chief of Staff and recommended him to be minister. It is shocking that the governor has suddenly become a tyrant.
“Governor Amaechi knew that Wike was a mischief-maker, but tried to manage him. The people of Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State rejected Wike, when he was seeking re-election as Council Chairman because of his disrespect for elders and constituted authority, but Governor Amaechi intervened and saved his political career.”
The Chief of Staff said that Wike is angry with the governor for asking him to drop his senatorial ambition in 2011 in favour of Senator George Thomson Sekibo.
He said that the crisis in the State House of Assembly is an ill-wind that would blow no one any good and asked the people of the state to continue to embrace peace.
Wike also said: “When has nursing ambition become a criminal offence? Assuming I want to be Rivers governor in 2015, so what? Is it because I want to be governor, that is why you (Amaechi) will leave the party and tell Rivers people lies?
“Is it because I want to be governor that is why Amaechi is quarrelling with President Goodluck Jonathan? Governorship is an ambition. If I want to run for governorship of Rivers state, nothing will stop me. Who told you I would not want to be the president of Nigeria?
“Nigeria will do well, if we stand by the truth. Amaechi is a tyrant and he can be likened to Adolf Hitler. Amaechi is the worst tyrant I have ever known. If you do not know, know it now. I worked there (in Government House, Port Harcourt as Chief of Staff). So, I can tell you.
“Amaechi is the only one that God wants to have an ambition. No other person can have an ambition. It is a criminal offence for you to have an ambition, but it is constitutional for Amaechi to have an ambition.”
The supervising minister of education also stated that it was not true that the six lawmakers supporting him in Rivers House of Assembly were plotting to impeach the Rivers governor. He said that without a chief judge, impeachment could not be carried out.
He added: “The Rivers governor and I were not good friends. We worked together. Working together does not make you to be friends. I worked for him seriously.
“With the circumstances at that time, if they happen now, I will still work for him. The circumstances at that time, because at every giving point in life, there are circumstances that will influence you to do one thing or another.”