An interesting war of words is playing out between River State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike and his immediate predecessor, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, with the former friends on the verge of opening cans of worms.
Mike’s words, “They said we will not be governor, we taught them lesson in politics. In 2015, they said over their dead body will we be governor, I’m looking for the dead body. 2019 they said we will not be governor, that they are in power. I said you are not in power, God is in power. We defeated them. They are small kids in politics.
“But let me warn the man who thinks he has President, he has soldiers, he has police, you should have learnt your lesson by now, that when God has left you there is nothing you can do again.”
Wike had more to say: “This morning I was watching Kaakaki and I hear somebody (in apparent reference to Amaechi) that is a minister was talking and he said he does not drink. Who told you to drink? If the way you are behaving and you drink…
“People should allow sleeping dogs to lie. If you don’t allow sleeping dogs to lie, we will tell you where you come from.
“I have never done law for 16 years. I am not like those who are reading law for 16 years from London to Baze University.
“I felt that I should come to his local government and tell him that if he doesn’t keep quiet. I am just doing introduction, I have not said anything, if he talks, I talk.”
“You don’t drink alcohol, but you take Holy Communion, is there no alcohol inside. You don’t drink alcohol but you drink 10 cans of Power Horse, which one is more dangerous?”
Not done, Wike took on Amaechi for the railway project inaugurated on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari: “I heard people came to Rivers State to flag off narrow gauge (rail) when the world is talking of standard gauge. What they are giving Rivers state is narrow gauge because I challenged them, show us what you have done for the people of the State. So, what they will do is to come and say okay, since you are complaining let us come and give you that narrow gauge.
“Instead of giving us the standard gauge to Maiduguri and they are making noise about it. Rivers State, the treasure base of the nation, the State that they used their money to produce their President. Towards the end of their administration is when they come and tell us of narrow gauge railway.”
“You want to finish the narrow gauge in 33 months. Will he be in power then? I am going to finish every project I have awarded, this Government will finish it.”
On the proposed University of Transport in Ubima , Rivers State, Wike weighed in:: “Since 2015 it is now you want to go to Ubima to build University of Transport.”
Recall that in the television programme referred to by Wike, Amaechi described the Governor’s earlier comments on the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail line and Bonny Sea port as “careless”.
The Minister’s words: “I am taught before I became Governor that Governors don’t speak carelessly, I am taught before I became Governor that governors speak with facts and figures and that when you make a statement millions of Nigerians rely on that statement.
“I am not garrulous in that nature. I speak intelligently knowing that when I speak it matters. I don’t drink alcohol so I don’t speak out of my sense.
“Election is coming in 2023 and we are just in 2021. We still have 2 years.
“Go back and listen to all my statements as a Governor. I don’t just get up.
“I am one man who has been in politics for too long that sometimes my wife thinks that we should retire; I’ve been Speaker for eight years, I’ve been Governor for eight years, I’m now Minister for six years, I was Special Assistant for two years under Governor Rufus Ada-George. I have been in public office and I know the importance of making a public presentation.”