The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State, has said that it would amount to glorifying corruption, if claims by the immediate past governor of the state, Hon Rotimi Amaechi, that President Muhammadu Buhari is begging him to accept appointment as minister or Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, is anything to go by.
The party also argued that the disclosure has exposed the president’s “fight against corruption as anti-people and targeted at only members of the PDP.”
While insisting that Amaechi is corrupt and has raped the state in an extreme manner, Rivers PDP expressed reservations over Buhari’s stance and his tolerance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, who it alleged has at several fora boasted that he was a dependable ally of the President and a prospective ministerial appointee for either the Defence Ministry or Ministry of Petroleum.
In a statement issued yesterday on his behalf, the state chairman of the party, Mr. Felix Obuah, said he was amazed at the manner Amaechi’s corrupt and fraudulent actions are continually being celebrated by his lieutenants, the APC folks in the state and Abuja.
He recounted the illegal disbursement of N2 billion agricultural loan, non-execution of the contract for the construction of the Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Specialist Hospital, after the payment of the sum of $39,200,000, illegal withdrawal of N96 billion from the Rivers State Reserve Fund, illegal sale of Omuku, Afam, Eleme and Trans-Amadi Gas Turbines, as well as the sale of Olympia Hotel.
The PDP further recalled the fraudulent practices surrounding the mono-rail and other phony projects abandoned in the state, after billions of naira were reportedly paid to ghost contractors by the former governor.
The party recalled how, under the state Chairman of the APC, Mr. Davies Ikanya, when he held sway as Commissioner for Special Duties, billions of naira earmarked for the rehabilitation of Rivers indigenes, who were deported from a neighbouring country to the state was mismanaged, an incident that led to his being disgraced from office.
The party also challenged the governorship candidate of the APC, in the state, Mr. Dakuku Peterside, to explain what happened to billions of naira on Operation Zero Potholes, a conduit pipe used to siphon government money under his watch as Commissioner for Works, during the Amaechi administration.
It maintained that the ex-governor and members of the APC were corrupt and lacked qualities to hold public office in a government that claims to be fighting corruption and making ‘desired change’ in governance.
The party maintained that Amaechi’s quest for public office was driven by corruption, wondering why he would claim that President Buhari was begging him to take up ministerial position, when he was yet to clear corruption allegations against him. This, according to the party, “amounts to glorifying the former governor and corruption, if his claim, at a public function in Abuja that Buhari was begging him to accept a ministerial appointment is true.
According to the statement, “We make bold to say that under Amaechi as governor, corruption was legalised and institutionalised. There are obvious evidence attesting to the validity of this position and the PDP is fully ready to provide proof of its claims.
“Looking elsewhere from Amaechi and chieftains of the APC, and concentrating only on those who worked under former President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the PDP in the ‘fight against corruption’ amounts to witch-hunt and selective prosecution.