GOVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State on Monday vowed to challenge his suspension by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in court, insisting that he is being witch-hunted by the ruling party.
He also urged Rivers indigenes to pray for him because the PDP was after his life.
Amaechi spoke on Monday evening at a youth Interactive Session, with the theme: “Consolidating on Rivers of our Dreams” held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Port Harcourt with youths in the state.
Amaechi said the NWC issued a statement to suspend him without any invitation and fair hearing.
“I was not invited by the National Working Committee of PDP, I was not given fair hearing. What I heard was that: why did I refuse to reinstate the suspended Obio/Akpor Council executive? Who suspended them?”, he asked.
The youths at the forum replied: “the Rivers State House of Assembly.”
“Who has the power to reinstate Obio/Akpor council executive?”, Amaechi asked again.
The youths replied: “The State Assembly.”
“….So, you see the political witch-hunting. It is so ridiculous. My party (PDP) must rise above political witch-hunting.
“Governor Amaechi did not suspend Obio/Akpor Council (executive). I hope you know, I have the power and my power is to dissolve. I can dissolve Obio/Akpor Council (executive). But I have not done that. What the Assembly is doing is that they are investigating corruption. But the party said they should not investigate corruption, is it fair?”, he asked again and the youths answered “no”.
“If they are not guilty, then, they will re-instate them, but if they are guilty, then we will ask for the dissolution of the council. We have not even gone half, and the party (PDP) says re-instate them. It means that the party likes corruption. Let the Assembly resume and commence investigation, let’s see what goes on. Whether there is corruption or not, it is the business of the Assembly. I have been a Speaker, and I know the powers of a Speaker and the legislature. I used it when I was a Speaker,” Amaechi said.
The governor further advised the State Police Command to obey court orders by vacating the Obio/Akpor council premises, and allow normalcy to return to the council.
“What is the police still doing at the Obio/Akpor Council building? The court gave an order to the police to vacate Obio/Akpor Council, they disobeyed, and the police are still stationed there,” he said.
Amaechi also expressed displeasure over the Obio/Akpor developments that made workers in Rivers State to go on strike, adding that due to the absence of doctors in government hospitals, they (government) now transfer patients from public to private hospitals to ensure they survive.
“The Federal Government does not care, they only stationed police at Obio/Akpor council, even if everybody dies, they don’t care. Now the whole state will be grounded, because the police have refused to vacate the Obio/Akpor Council Secretariat. They don’t want to know, we are not important to the Federal Government, we are not important at all.
“You know what it took for us to stop militancy in the state. But only last week, they organised militants to return to the streets of Port Harcourt, is that not shameful? You all knew how the militants spent our money, raped our women, killed our parents and young men. Immediately the militants stopped protesting, the police said, nobody should protest again,” Amaechi stated.
He urged the youths to offer prayers to God to intervene, stating that there is nothing wrong as Governor of Rivers State and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ask for his right, which the PDP is now describing as anti-party.
“Internal democracy is important in our party, if they fought me by all means, and I still won the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election, what should they do? They should have joined me to thank God. Because what it means is that God has spoken. It happened when I was in Ghana, I fasted and prayed for six months, 6am to 6pm, and God made me governor.
“I will not leave the PDP. I will go to court. The plane issue is same politics, pure politics. For one year plus, a minister refused to sign import permit. I am sure you are aware of the House of Representatives Committee report on the plane issue.”
Amaechi also called on the Federal Government to allow democracy to reign supreme, stating that there was no need for the police to remain at the Obio/Akpor Council.
“They should allow the police to work for the benefit of the public. And imagine, if you and I cannot go to court to seek for protection, where else can we go to? They have refused to accept the court decision. And if the police continue, we shall mobilise Rivers people to come out en masse and I will be in front to lead the protest”.
Speaking on the NGF election, Amaechi said: “You will see it on the internet when the governors were voting, all the governors were there and you will also see the counting. We (governors) agreed to voting, and all the governors voted, so any governor who said he didn’t vote is lying against the nation because all of us are on oath to govern properly, so we should not lie, every governor voted, you will see the video. If we leaders of Nigeria today are refusing to accept the results of a properly-organised election supervised by the Director-General of the Governors’ Forum, then where is the future? And somebody brought a paper that was signed in April. If you check that list, it was signed in April and you brought it on May 24 after the governors had finished voting their chairman into office, that list is not part of our election. There is a rumour that they want to go to court to stop me as NGF chairman. We are ready to meet them in court but they should not go through the backdoor to get an order.
“I want to say the way these people at the federal level are acting, they may come for my life, so when you pray, please, pray for me.”