Former Rivers State governor and Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said that he was able to fight against cultists, kidnappers and others masquerading as militants because he never hobnobbed with criminals.
Amaechi also recalled that he did not appoint any of the criminals into political office or crown them king, adding that his administration then returned peace to the state and stopped the insecurity that reigned before the advent of his government.
The minister, who spoke on Monday in an online broadcast to the people of Rivers, maintained that the people of the state enjoyed peace until the months leading to the 2015 general election.
He said, “Let no one deceive you with a twisted narrative on the origins, causes and solutions to the bloodbath in Rivers State. Most of you can attest to how I battled and tackled insecurity when I served as your governor.
“I led the fight against the cultists, gangs, thugs and criminals masquerading as militants; they were driven out from hiding, many fled the state. I was able to do that because I was never in bed with the criminals; I never appointed any into political office or crowned any king.
“The administration I led was able to return the State to serenity from the horrible state of insecurity and violence we met when we took over. Rivers people enjoyed peace until the months leading up to the 2015 general elections when these ‘new’ men of power in the state introduced unprecedented violence and killings in the state.”
Amaechi explained that the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had launched an attack on him when he asked him to perform or resign, adding that the uninspiring response of the state government to the recent killings in Omokun was enough for the people of the state to speak up against the insecurity in the state.
He pointed out that the situation in the once peaceful state had made it (Rivers) to be “derisively” described as Rivers of Blood.
“In the early hours of New Year’s Day, defenceless residents of Omoku were gruesomely attacked and murdered on their way home from the New Year crossover night church service. 23 men, women and children were murdered in the attack. In the first couple of days of this New Year, people have also been murdered in Andoni and Egbeda.
“Some 48 hours after the Omoku massacre, the response of the governor and Government of Rivers State whose primary responsibility is to protect you from these kinds of attacks was gabble blather about a N200 million bounty and to launch another round of attacks on me because I politely advised them to protect Rivers people or resign from office.”