‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja – Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has slammed former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, over remarks at the burial of Alabo Graham-Douglas
The Elder statesman was buried on Saturday, at Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.
At the funeral on Saturday, the former Transportation Minister had questioned Wike’s role towards Graham-Douglas, saying that shunning his burial rite was insensitive to a man who contributed so much to nation building, and especially Rivers State.
Amaechi had also said during his goodwill message at the event that Graham-Douglas deserved all the attention from the Rivers government, including a state burial.
But speaking during the inauguration of the remodelled state government property in the state on Monday, Wike berated Amaechi for alleging that he was insensitive and disrespectful to the late minister, noting that his administration honoured Graham-Douglas during his lifetime, something Amaechi never did.
Chronicling all assistance rendered by his government to Douglas, Wike said, “I tell people, let’s live in peace. So many people think if they don’t talk about us, they won’t survive. People like to use the life and death of our prominent people to play politics
“If you go for burial to honour a man who has died, you honour the man, and not use his death to play politics.
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“I’m very disappointed that the former Minister of Transport, Amaechi, will still come to this state to talk about this government’s decision not to give the late Alabo Graham-Douglas a state burial.
“It’s unfortunate. I asked him when Alabo was sick, where were you? This state government committed so much money to make sure Alabo survives.
“I challenge anybody. We did not spend less than N50 million to make sure our elder statesmen survived,” the governor states.
“It is his survival we want. We wanted him to be alive. When the late son had an accident and was flown to London, this same (Rivers) government, took the cost, go and ask people. We couldn’t have said all these, but when people come to talk in public, we like to go and eulogise the dead.
“Amaechi let me ask you when Alabo was alive, he told you to honour him by elevating the stool of Amanayabo, you did not do it. I came and elevated the stool to First Class.
“Amaechi, Alabo told you, please help and do the Ring Road in Abonnema, so we will not be having the challenge that if we have occasion, everybody will be trapped on one road. To show your love for the man, he (Amaechi) refused to do it. I did it.
“When alive, Alabo told Amaechi, now that I’m alive, why not do the Trans Kalabari Road? You didn’t do it. I’m the one doing it. So who is the man who loves Alabo? Because the man is dead, I know why you went there because you have an interest.
“The only way you can love the man is to go there when he has died. When he was alive, do these things so he would be happy, you didn’t do it.
“That was how, before Justice Karibe-Whyte died, you went and pulled down our General Hospital, that you were going to build a 1,000-bed Karibe-Whyte Hospital. Karibe-Whyte died, he never saw one block you laid. But when he died you went there to say oh, Kalabari people, there is so much insecurity here. That is how you eulogise people.
“Captain Elechi Amadi died, in fact, before he died, you said you were going to build the Faculty of Humanities. You tried to lay blocks. You abandoned it, I came and completed that building, even though everybody knows you have an interest in his family. That is the kind of life you live.
“When Elechi Amadi died, there was no road to his home, for a man you profess to love. I came and sent MCC to do that road. It was done, that was how Captain Elechi Amadi was buried. So you should be ashamed of yourself.
“Instead of you coming to say, our late elder has died, (may his soul rest in peace), you come and open your mouth to talk about politics in this state. I thought some people should know there is a limitation to everything. If you did not say what you said on Saturday, I wouldn’t have exposed you now. People didn’t know you have an interest everywhere.
“Must you have interest in every man you say is your friend? Some people should be quiet. We have taken all your people. Nobody in your party again because of your poor leadership. Why not manage and stay?
“Seven years as Minister of Transportation, what did you do for your people? Tell Rivers people. All you were interested in is doing business with CCECC, standard gauge, and whatever gauge, up till now, no gauge, we have not seen anyone from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
“As a junior minister, I brought the Law Faculty to Uniport and brought oil and gas polytechnic to Bonny. I gave grants to Kenule Polytechnic and Ignatius Ajuru University. I renovated most secondary schools in Rivers. Tell us, as a Grade A Minister, what you brought. Do you think you can deceive Rivers state again?
“And this should be your last time to open your mouth to talk about this state because you are a total failure as far as this state is concerned. Even what is supposed to come to us, you blocked it. You thought you won’t finish as a minister, you have left.”