Amaechi rejects Wike’s top award as Rivers governor accepts his rejection

Amaechi rejects Wike’s top award as Rivers governor accepts his rejection

- Amaechi and Wike's rift continues as the former governor rejects a top award to be given to him by the River state government

- According to Amaechi, Wike plan to honour him is “a poisoned chalice”

- Wike immediately welcomes the rejection, says he is a 'scoundrel of history'

Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation, on Friday, May 26, rejected an award which was to be given to him by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state.

According to Amaechi, Wike’s plan to honour him is “a poisoned chalice,” Premium Times reports.

In a statement from his media office, Amaechi made it clear that he would not be part of the programme put together by the governor, who succeeded him in 2015.

The award ceremony is part of activities marking the 50th Anniversary of Rivers state.

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Amaechi said: “The purported award itself is a contradiction of monumental proportions, a contradiction that can only come from a warped and perverted mind.

“From day one as governor, Wike has made it his sole, one-point agenda to attack, abuse, insult and falsely denigrate Amaechi, his immediate predecessor and erstwhile benefactor.

“Since he became governor, Wike spends most of his time making reckless, deeply irresponsible malicious, false allegations against Amaechi, as he attempts, albeit fruitlessly, to malign and destroy the outstandingly superb performance and legacy of Amaechi in Rivers state.”

Amaechi wondered why Wike would even contemplate honouring him.

“So, what are the bases or criteria for Wike to give an award/honour to a man he (Wike) has rashly attacked and called all sorts of unprintable names in the past two years?”

The minister said he could not accept the award in the face of a deplorable situation which Wike allegedly plunged Rivers into.

But in a swift response, Wike immediately welcomed the rejection, with the Rivers state Commissioner of Information, Austin Tam-George, describing it as “a huge moral relief for the administration, and the people of the state.”

Tam-George said: "The Rivers state government has learnt with much relief news of the rejection of a proposed State award, by a former governor of the state, and current Minister for Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

"Given Mr Amaechi's sanctimonious statement of rejection, it is important to clarify that the Rivers State Government never set out to honour Mr Amaechi for any meritorious service to the state during his time as governor.

"As part of the events of the State's Golden Jubilee celebration, the State government accepted the recommendation of the organizing committee that a variety of awards be given to different categories of individuals who have earned a place in the history of the State.

"There is a category of the awards designated for former governors of the state. And as a former governor, Mr Amaechi fell automatically in that category.

"We wish to emphasize that the award was never meant as a validation of Mr Amaechi's horrendous administration.

"Mr Amaechi was personally indicted for stealing billions of public funds during his time in office, by a court-approved panel of inquiry set up by the state government.

"The government will soon initiate a prosecutorial process against him in multiple jurisdictions, in Nigeria and abroad. And no award would have stopped that process.

"We must confess that as a government, we wrestled with the moral horror of giving any kind of award to a man whose government was no better than a criminal syndicate.

"Mr Amaechi may be a scoundrel of history, but he was once a governor of the state. The proposed award was to serve as a sad acknowledgement of the especially dark place he occupies in our State's otherwise illustrious history.

"His rejection of the award is therefore a huge moral relief for the administration, and the people of the state." had earlier reported that Amaechi had been listed amongst those to be honoured by Wike as part of activities marking the 50th Anniversary of Rivers state.

Amaechi is s number 18 among the 29 people to be honoured by the government for their contributions to the development of the state.

Former Nigerian leaders Goodluck Jonathan and Yakubu Gowon are also on the list, alongside late activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who would be honoured posthumously.

Watch as Amaechi speaks about Muhammadu Buhari's administration about two years after it came into existence


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