The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has disclosed how Minister of Transportation and former governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi, misappropriated over $100 million state proceeds realised from sales of public assets during his eight years administration, between 2007 and 2015.
Wike added that notable among the public assets handled by the minister was a state-owned power plant sold at $308 million but $208 million was kept in the state coffers and $100 million could not be accounted for under the administration.
The governor said that the state would have instituted a suit against Amaechi on the alleged funds’ diversion to personal use, meanwhile, the Federal Government was currently shielding the former governor from been prosecuted for his actions.
He revealed the funds misappropriated by the former governor during commissioning of 6.1 kilometers long and 7.3 meters wide Omuihuechi-Omuoko-Omokiri link road in Aluu Ikwerre Local Government Area on Wednesday.
Wike noted that the consistent protection given by the central government to Amaechi was reasons the minister had allegedly been undermining the state government effort to boost security, determining Commissioner of Police and General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Nigerian Army to be posted into the state.
“People gave you an opportunity to sell our properties, everything. And people are talking in this State because of the Government that says they are fighting corruption and protecting people. Amaechi sold our property for $308 Million and kept for us $208,000. That is the kind of people parading themselves in government, for a government that says they are fighting corruption, shame,” he added.
The governor, meanwhile, urged the people of the State not to be deceived by antics of the APC government following the flag off narrow gauge rail line Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Maiduguri, Borno state, noting that the project flag off was politically motivated.
Wike, who faulted the federal government for flagging off the construction of a narrow-gauge railway line, queried the government for embarking on such a project when the world was already building standard gauge railway.
“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 a 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.”
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi, explained that Omuihuechi-Omuoko-Omokiri road before the administration of Wike was a nightmare for residents and road users.
The commissioner added that the reconstructed road 6.1km long, 7.3m wide road complete with drains on both sides which measure 12.2 kilometers.
“This road is of immense benefit to the 3 communities it is named after, it is also of benefit to residents and people of Choba community, it is of benefit to the students and staff of the University of Port Harcourt, it is of benefit to land and homeowners in this area. It is of benefit to real estate development within and around Aluu.”