by Wale Odunsi
Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has dismissed the call by former Bayelsa State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha asking him to beg Jonathan and return to the PDP.
The former Governor, who was convicted but later granted pardon by President Goodluck Jonathan, had made the call in an interview with New Telegraph newspaper at the weekend.
Alamieyeseigha had stated that: “I think there is no problem between Governor Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan. I think Amaechi should be humble enough to go to the President and say, ‘I am sorry’, because he has no place to go. A child that is not respectful will also not deserve respect from anyone. I have spoken to both of them. Jonathan has no issues. President of Nigeria is very powerful.
“I even told Amaechi: the first entity you cannot fight is Almighty God and the second entity is the government, (President Jonathan). No matter how you interpret it, nobody can fight government, (Jonathan) successfully. Rivers State will never be surrendered to APC.”
Reacting at the weekend, Governor Amaechi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary David Iyofor dismissed the call by Alamieyeseigha.
He said the former Governor was trying to stand logic on its head and was not bold enough to tell the world what he (Alamieyeseigha) told Amaechi when he came to discuss the President with him.
“Yes, its true that Governor Amaechi does not have any personal issues with the President. And yes, when Chief Alamieyeseigha came to the governor to discuss this issue, he said that there is not much problem between the President and Governor Amaechi but he wasn’t bold and courageous enough to say in that interview what he told the governor the problem is.
“He told Governor Amaechi that he cannot understand why Mr. President cannot rein in, control or manage his wife. But for him to now go to the press to say something else is indeed most cowardly and timid of him.
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“How do one comprehend Chief Alamieyeseigha’s logic or reasons for saying Governor Amaechi should go and beg President Jonathan and retrace his steps? Please, to where should the governor retrace his steps to? Back to PDP?
“The same PDP that Governor Amaechi led Rivers people to give total support and give Mr. President over two million votes at the 2011 elections with nothing to show for it after almost four years? Instead, territories and oil wells belonging to the State are been given to other States.
“Is he saying that the Governor cannot hold a contrary view, opinion from Mr. President on issues, based on principles and the interests of Rivers State, because Mr. President is all powerful?”
“Chief Alamieyeseigha’s understanding of respect, disrespect and desecration of the office of the President is warped and indeed befuddling. For Chief Alamieyeseigha, what amounts to disrespect and desecration of the office of the President is Governor Amaechi’s decision to stay with his people, fight for what is theirs and dogged stubbornness and refusal to cede any part of Rivers State including its oil wells to Mr. President’s home state of Bayelsa!
“For him, the Governor’s fight for the interest of Rivers State and its people, what is due the State is given to the state by the federal government is tantamount to disrespecting and desecrating the office of the President! How preposterous!
“Chief Alamieyeseigha says APC will never take Rivers State! We feel sorry and pity for him. It’s so apparent that he belongs to and lives in the past and has blindly refused to see and face the reality of the present. APC has since taken over Rivers State. APC is in control in Rivers State and Rivers people are fully with their Governor in APC. If deluding himself to think otherwise, would make Chief Alamieyeseigha sleep well at night, then he can continue to live in dreamland”.
“While we do not begrudge Chief Alamieyeseigha’s political affiliation or his decision to truckle, grovel and genuflect before whoever he so pleases, we also expect and demand that he respects the right of Governor Amaechi to choose his political party and associates, and to disagree with anyone, on principles and issues that are not in the interest of Rivers state and Rivers people.
“Finally, We want to state categorically that Chief Alamieyeseigha’s comments against Governor Amaechi in that interview with New Telegraph on Saturday is an undisguised and disgraceful sycophantic voyage that a man of his standing should never have ventured into”, Iyofor concluded.