Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt
The former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has denied promising the Igbos in Rivers State to return property seized from them after the civil war under the abandoned property policy.
Amaechi had come under scathing criticisms by officials of the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Information for allegedly promising to return the abandoned property to the Igbos in Rivers State, if Tonye Cole, the APC Governorship candidate emerges governor of the state in the March 18 elections.
But the former Governor of Rivers State has come out to deny making such a promise saying that “unscrupulous and ill-advised elements” twisted and misrepresented his speech during his stakeholders meeting with Igbos in Rivers State last week.
A statement from the Amaechi media team, made available to NIGERIAN TRIBUNE in Port Harcourt expressed astonishment that even the respected Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers fell for the false story and fake news.
The statement blamed Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike propagating what it call fake news without making any effort to clarify what the former Minister actually said.
The media team criticised the royal fathers for proceeding “to address the media, castigating and condemning the immediate past Rivers State Governor based on a fake, ill-conceived story obviously concocted by the current failed Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike”.
“We would ordinarily not respond to these kind of comments deliberately twisted by the rarely sober Governor Wike and his agents of wickedness and mischief who Rivers people and Nigerians know trade in divisive fake news, to malign the person and character of Amaechi.
The media team went ahead to clarify that; “Amaechi did not and have never said anything about compensation on abandoned properties to the Igbos in Rivers State.
“That he only rehashed his apology to the Igbos when he became governor of Rivers State, that he was sorry on behalf of the state on abandoned properties from the Nigerian civil war.
“That if he had been in power at that time, he would never have let that happen”.
The state quoted Amaechi as saying; “All of us who are here know that when I became Governor, the first thing I said to the Igbos was ‘I am sorry, I am sorry on abandoned property. I said, if I were governor when they were doing abandoned property, I would not accept. So in my speech to the Igbos (as governor), I said I am sorry on behalf of Rivers State.”
It added that Amaechi only mentioned compensation when he spoke about people who were being intimidated, harassed and threatened with violence due to their choice of voting and support for the APC in the upcoming Governorship and State Assembly election.
He said, “we need you to come out, we need you to stand, we need you not to be harassed. If they burn any of your houses or they burn any of your shops, write your name and give to …. We will replace everything they burned, everything you lost. Rivers State government will not start if we win, without paying you back.”
“This is the true state of things, and we urge Rivers people to ignore and discountenance the misconstrued alcohol-fueled tirades being peddled by the utterly shameless Governor Nyesom Wike and his agents of falsehood and purveyors of fake news”.