*Says EFCC no longer fights corruption
BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
Governor Chibuike Amaechi says thief will not succeed him as governor in Rivers State next year. The governor, who spoke yesterday at a rally to celebrate the seventh anniversary of his Supreme Court victory at the Amesiemaka Stadium in Ikwerre local government area of the state, said one of those campaigning to succeed him embezzled the money earmarked for the construction of a road to the stadium in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
“Today I decided to test my popularity. They have made too much noise. The President said we exist in posters and bill boards. So we brought a large bill board for him. If the President is not watching they will give him security report. This stadium is 40,000 sitting capacity, I built it. One of them campaigning for governorship was the contractor to do the road. He abandoned the road and took N3 billion and left. Now he wants to become governor, a thief will not be our governor”, he said.
Amaechi, who lamented the high scale of corruption in the country, said it had assumed what he termed industrial scale, adding that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was no longer fighting anti-graft war. “ I challenge them to integrity test, any of them, from Abuja to Rivers State, I challenge them to integrity test. I have worked with them. I have their records, they are in the office of the governor. I challenge them to go ahead. The problem we have is that EFCC is no longer working. Corruption is at its industrial scale. Thieves are thieves, we now have an industry called corruption”, he said.
The governor thanked God that alleged plans to remove him from office failed, noting that he would complete his second term in office.
Amaechi also thanked Justices of the Supreme Court for delivering the judgement that brought him in as governor in 2007. He also thanked his loyalists in the state House of Assembly for their support.
The governor spoke on some of his achievement since he came on board, accusing the Federal Government of frustrating the move by his administration to provide potable water for Port Harcourt.
“We were to give Port Harcourt water. As I am talking to you, the Minister of Finance has refused to move the file back to the executive council for approval so that you can have water. They don’t care for you. Punish PDP with your vote”, he said.
Amaechi lashed out at the Federal Government, saying it had failed the people in several areas. “They said the reason the President is not performing in Rivers is because he is quarrelling with the governor. Okay, what is the quarrel with the governor of Cross River and Akwa Ibom that the road to Cross River is abandoned? . Are they quarrelling too? It is more of lack of performance. “
The governor accused the President of taking some oil wells belonging to Rivers, adding that he did not encourage the state effectively to fight Ebola when it broke out in the state.
“When Ebola broke out, to show you how much the President hates us, he visited Lagos. Did he visit us? He did not care. He wanted all of us to die. And I took it as a challenge and say none of us will die. I brought out money. It took the President at the end of Ebola to give us ordinary 200 million naira. I released one billion, one hundred and six million naira to fight Ebola. See our airport. The President lands there. We are like refugees”, he said.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso of Kano State, National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, General Muhamadu Buhari were among dignitaries present at the event.
About 3,000 PDP members decamped to the APC at the occasion and were received by the National Chairman of the party, Oyegun.