The Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike have opened yet another flak of confrontation.
Both men, front-line sons of the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality, are shooting from all cylinders.
Amaechi had cautioned Wike, urging him to be careful over hastily attributing the situation which occurred at Oyigbo to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
The Minister also asked his successor to concentrate more on the disturbing menace posed by herdsmen in the State.
“It is very funny that Wike has decided to leave his administrative works to arrest and kill innocent people of Oyigbo in Rivers State”, Amaechi is quoted as saying.
“What has Wike done for Oyigbo people since he took over as the governor of Rivers State.
“Instead of him to attack innocent Oyigbo people, let him go after those Herdsmen killing People in Rivers State or better still go after those with oil well who are not indigenous people of his state”.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has reacted to the comments credited to the Minister, accusing him of being the mastermind of a massive propaganda campaign against him. Speaking on Monday, during a live special interview on AIT on the fallout of the End SARS protest and the report of mass killings of IPOB members in Oyigbo, Wike claimed that Amaechi is disturbed by his rising political profile.
He explained that it was for that reason an alleged smear campaign in the media has been targeted at him.
Wike stressed that he has no regrets for his proclamation against IPOB as well as their activities in Rivers State.
He maintained that IPOB which he referred to as a “criminal” group has formed dangerous cells in Oyigbo by hoisting flags in certain communities.
According to him, “I know where all this is coming from. They think they can sponsor all sorts of rubbish against me. I know it is coming from the Minister of Transportation.
“Why will he (Amaechi) not do that? He thinks that I am rising politically, and he is doing everything to bring me down. Everybody knows that. It is not hidden. I cannot change my identity.
“I have a good relationship with the Igbos and if the Presidency is zoned to the South East I will support them very well but that is not for me to say that I am from that area. I am not from there.
“The President directed his Ministers to go to their States to ascertain the level of destruction. I have not heard from my own Minister. We don’t know when he would.
The Rivers State Governor also said he has received threats from certain individuals over the incidents at Oyigbo.
“You can’t imagine the volume of destruction caused by these IPOB criminals. They killed three police officers, they killed six soldiers, they burnt all the Police Stations in Oyigbo, they burnt our Courts, and they were taking over some of our communities and you said we should sit and watch them continuously. We won’t allow that.
“They have been sending text messages threatening me that they will deal with me when they see me.
“I told them I am not Ekweremadu that they embarrassed in Germany. I dare anybody to try it. I will go around the streets of Europe without looking back,” Wike said.
On the alleged massacre in Oyigbo, Governor Wike said the reports will be investigated, stating that a meeting has been called with the State Security Council to review their activities in Oyigbo and other places.
Only recently, both men clashed over security concerns in Rivers State.
Amaechi had said on tha occasion that Wike was not paying sufficient attention to security.
Wike reacted in fit of rage, cursing his former boss and accusing him of doing very little to secure federal projects in the overall interest of the Rivers people.
Recall that Governor had tried in 2015 to block the clearance of Amaechi as a Minister by the Senate, accusing him of massive fraud.
Although there was a massive hype, Wike could not produce credible evidence.
It turned out that Amaechi had a copy of the report of the panel of inquiry headed by Justice George Omereji which showed that the nominee had no dirt on him.
Initially, most Rivers people had come to the conclusion that both men were play acting and deceiving Rivers people.
But there relationship has further deteriorated while efforts reportedly made behind the scene by the Ikwerre nation to reconcile them appears to have fallen flat on its face.
Whereas Amaechi’s name is being linked to a presidential race on the platform of the APC, Wike’s is also being linked to a vice presidential ambition on the platform of the PDP.
It is difficult to say if the bad blood between the two political figures would ever be blown away.
Only time will tell, but as things are for now, it is getting worse by the day and there are signs as 2023 approaches, there might be more cross fires.
While they flex muscles, Rivers people watch from the sidelines and wonder what has come over the two powerful men from Ikwerre.
Many remember how the fierce infighting between Chief AK Horsfal, a former spy chief and Chairman of OMPADEC and late Chief Ombo Isokrari, former Managing Director of NAFCON brought the roof down on the heads of the Kalabari.
It would appear that the Ikwerre are yet to learn from that lesson.
At the height of their aspiration to control everything, the infighting between Amaechi and Wike would bring the roof crashing down.
Will reason prevail? Will their sidekicks give peace a chance?
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