Former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has opened up on his greatest regret as helmsman of the oil-rich Rivers State. The current Minister of Transport who spoke at the Annual Lagos Traffic Radio lecture series in Alausa, Ikeja said that the people of the state have failed to recognize his contribution towards the progress of the state.
“The problem with Nigerians is that they forget so soon what someone had done for them. And that was one of my greatest regrets as the Governor of River State for eight years. I served my people but they did not recognize my contribution.”
Former Rivers State Governor accused the incumbent Governor Nyesom Wike of driving away investors from the state because of his inability to curb the rising wave of crime and insecurity in the state. He also accused Wike of overseeing a plunge in the internally generated revenue which he claims has dropped from N8 billion to N4 billion.
“Do you know that people are now migrating away from Port Harcourt? When I was the Governor of Rivers State, nothing like that happened. The crime rate in the state has now increased and the IGR dropped. As the governor, the IGR of the state was at N8 billion. And that was why I have often advised Nigerian public office holders not to play with figures.
“I was accused of owing 12 months’ salary but when I left office, I had paid up to 40 percent of the workforce. I believe that all public officers must tell the public the truth always. During my tenure, when my IGR begins to fall, I invite the Commissioner of Police and other security operatives in the state to bring the statistics of crime in the state.
“Due to the crime rate in the state, people have started migrating away from the state and the IGR has dropped to N4 billion. The state governor (Wike) now moves like chairman of a council, asking traders and others if they had paid their taxes. But when I was the governor, I don’t engage in that.”
According to the former Rivers State Governor:
“Migration is either voluntary or involuntary. But in the case of Rivers State, it is involuntary. They are forced to relocate from the state. The man complained that I am corrupt but I have asked him to go to court but until today, he is yet to bring evidence forward to buttress his claims.”
What is this really about?