The Incumbent Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has boasted that he made his predecessor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Governor of Rivers State in 2007.
Meanwhile a run through the political history of Rotimi Amaechi reveals that During the transition to the Third Nigerian Republic, Amaechi was Secretary of the National Republican Convention in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. Between 1992 and 1994, he was Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili – his boss believed in Amaechi as a young man with potential in politics, and brought him under his wing. In 1996, he was the Rivers State’s Secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) caretaker committee during the transition programme of General Sani Abacha.
In 1999, he contested and won a seat to become a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly to represent his constituency. He was subsequently elected as the Speaker of the House of Assembly. Amaechi was elected the Chairman of Nigeria’s Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies. In May 2003, he was re-elected as the Speaker. In 2003, when the National Assembly moved to hijack the legislative functions of the State House of Assembly as enshrined in the constitution, he and his colleagues took the matter to Supreme Court.
As speaker, Amaechi used his close working relationship with Governor Peter Odili to increase the harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms of government in Rivers State, until when Rotimi Amaechi launched a campaign against the State Government, and verbally attacked the image of the State Governor, in an effort to succeed Peter Odili as governor in 2007.
In 2007, Amaechi contested and won the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary for Rivers State Governor in 2007. His name was substituted by the party, an action which he challenged in court. The case eventually got to the Supreme Court. He became governor on October 26, 2007, after the Supreme Court ruled that he was the rightful candidate of the PDP and winner of the April 2007 Governorship election in Rivers State.
Meanwhile During an interview on BBC pidgin on Friday, Wike said he was surprised that Amaechi whom he made governor would turn around to call him an employee.
Wike explained that he supported Amaechi’s political ambitions then because he was not interested in being governor and that even after he became governor, Amaechi still sought his advice on how to run his government.
“Amaechi and I were in the same party and in politics, everybody has his own ambition. He had his ambition to be governor and at the time, I didn’t. So, we fought and supported him to be governor.
“Now he’s in APC and you don’t expect me as a PDP person to support what he does.
“I was the one God used to make Amaechi governor. I will even give you a tape from what he said in the church; that after God, I’m next. But he went on national television to say that I was his staff, his employee. It wasn’t funny but I said no problem.
“We all sat to make him the governor and I was the one who championed it. How do you call someone who made you governor an employee?
“Even after he became governor, he sought my advice on how to run his government and offered me Commissioner of finance, but I rejected the offer because I wanted to be the chief of staff office.
“That time I made him governor, I had the power to choose.
“This same person said over his dead body that will I be governor, now I am looking for that dead body.
“I have been governor for eight years now. In 2015 when I won, they said its because PDP was in power, but I also won again in 2019 when APC was in power,” he said.