RIVERS CRISIS: My story, by Rotimi Amaechi

On this interview, last week, Rotimi Amaechi, a former  governor of Rivers nation and now transport  Minister, bared his thoughts on the disaster rocking the state and why peace has persevered to be elusive.   Amaechi insisted that the incumbent state governor, Nyesom Wike, ought to tone down his rhetoric on violence,  to deliver down tension in the country whilst asking him to additionally distance himself from ex-militants, to send a clear message that the ones conducting violence will now not pass unpunished. Excerpts: 6,000 policemen and some very senior police officers have been deployed to Rivers country for the re-run election.   What type of effect are you looking forward to that to make? Nicely, if you’ve been following events in Rivers kingdom inside the ultimate eight months, you would have  been capable of recognize why that needed to be so – that is, the deployment of the  policemen there. The President of this country has the obligation to defend lives and belongings. If  you’ve determined thoroughly, i’ve tried as an awful lot as possible to stay far from the goings-on in Rivers.   The election for governorship became contested with the aid of Dr. Dakuku Peterside (APC candidate) and that i left him to retain to combat his conflict. Now, the maximum widespread function a country governor is predicted to play is the safety of lives and property of the humans. I went to Omoku to go to the own family of the Chairman of APC in Ward four of that local authorities.   He turned into murdered, his pregnant spouse become murdered, his son was additionally murdered.   The  2d own family I went to visit, the story was the same issue – he changed into murdered and his pregnant spouse was additionally murdered.   Fortunately for the kid, they  didn’t see him. In reality, it changed into the grand mom who escaped along with her grandchild and that was why that one escaped dying. The police say they’ve regarded into the problem and mounted cultism because the cause for those killings? Ok, so it’s far PDP cultists against APC cultists, is that it? Appearance, let me tell you, the purpose lawlessness flourishes is because you do now not punish people who damage the law. Rotimi Amaechi I went to those communities, penultimate Saturday, Buguma, Abonema,   and Omoku – these communities had been abandoned. Ok, allow us to even anticipate that every one the killings are associated with cultism.   The responsibility of the  police is to protect lives and property.   If, for example, a governor starts offevolved to wine and dine with alleged cultists in the country, you embolden them. I am a Catholic Christian and i’m happy with that.   I can by no means meet with a cultist. However then, shall we embrace the Federal government has failed in its responsibility since it’s far in charge of the police? I idea you know that the obligation of protecting lives and residences within the country lies with the state governor. But state governors have always stated that they  don’t manage the police? That isn’t always genuine.   It’s far rare and in splendid cases like the one I had on my arms whilst i was governor. It was under the former President whilst the residents and even the state authorities had been helpless due to the siege created by means of the Federal authorities on the kingdom. You  know there has been a time while simply before an election, leaders of our celebration had been detained.   However under this President who preaches the guideline of regulation, that isn’t happening. Whereas the police are pronouncing the reason for the killings in the ones communities have been because of cult clashes,  you’re saying they’re political.   Are you, consequently, vouching for all the participants of the APC that they may be no longer violent or that not one of the APC individuals in Rivers state is a cultist? I wish you knew me thoroughly. One thing I fear approximately life is that it’s miles irreplaceable and, in case you are going to be one in every of my followers, you must now not personal a gun, you must not convey  machetes.   So that you can’t work with me and carry guns. But that does not solution my query in the feel that what I’m pronouncing is that, are you announcing each single member of APC isn’t a cultist? Yes. That’s what i’m pronouncing.   To follow me, you have to be God-fearing. So  you’re pronouncing there are no sinners in APC. Being God-fearing does  to intend you cannot devote sins, but there’s constantly a restrict to that you  clearly recognise you need to now not go beyond. Looking at the rhetoric, is it not apparent to both you and the country governor, Wike, that your  incendiary  remarks were overheating the polity? I advised you I kept faraway from that kingdom having served my 8 years.   But one man has always used language and words that encourage violence. So what have you accomplished to tone that down? You can’t tone it down due to the fact he’s the character using the violent language. He thrives in violence. You are saying that your former chief of team of workers flourishes in violence?   That says something approximately you too? He does.   I had him under manipulate. When he have become a Minister, then all of us saw the proper colorations of the kind of man or woman he is. A main of workforce is someone who’s so near you; so, with a view to have appointed him  supposed you knew him very well? By the time I knew who he changed into, we had to manage him.   If I’d heard the sort of factors I heard approximately him, I wouldn’t have appointed him. Appearance, I even needed to go back to Port Harcourt while human beings began feeling deserted, that I had deserted my human beings for the consolation of Abuja. So that you are on the offensive now? No. I’m no longer at the offensive.   I simply went to Port Harcourt to commiserate with the people. It’s miles for the nation governor to be civil in his pronouncements and dealings. Let me tell you this:   three armed robbers had been arrested via the police; they had been stated to have confessed to have killed infantrymen; however the attorney standard of Rivers kingdom now writes a criminal opinion that they need to no longer be charged to court. If you take care of Rivers country why  don’t you and the incumbent sit down and discover a manner forward? I’m willing, however how does that take place?  When i was governor, I had people who did  not like me but I had to go to them past due at night time to resolve troubles with them. My mandate now’s to deliver logistics to Nigeria. I am not the governor.   You cannot simply drive to government house, Rivers. Ok, let us even anticipate that Peterside and that i are the  aggressors, what do you think the country governor need to do? Shouldn’t he find a way to reach us and are looking for methods of creating peace.   He is the country governor for Christ’s sake. What is the manner forward? Those helping and sponsoring violence ought to stop. In case you  don’t encourage those criminals, they  gained’t be doing what they’re doing. That was why I did now not aid the Amnesty Programme due to the fact I accept as true with that, if  you break the law, you have to be punished.   You  don’t pay a lawbreaker because, if you do,  you embolden her or him. I anticipated that if you  pay militants within the South, you  need to pay to militants within the North too.   So, if Boko Haram members come out now to demand that they need to be paid to put down their palms, why  shouldn’t we pay them?  Or if MASSOB contributors say they may stop their protests however they want amnesty, what can we do? A number of us agree with that in case you sit down together with your friend, your former leader of team of workers, to trash those problems, there may be peace in Rivers nation? Look, in politics, there are stuff you do as a product of consultations.   We  agreed to nominate someone for the ministerial slot of Minister of kingdom which got here to Rivers kingdom.   A mutual pal advised that Wike became a  bit down on the grounds that his removal as leader of workforce, and we decided that that counsel turned into a good one.   However you realize what, on reflection, that advice changed into the worst recommendation  I’ve ever received and acted on in my life.   I used to be overwhelmed through the number of individuals who known as on his behalf and we needed to swallow the sour tablet; and thoughts you, human beings had already branded me as a cussed person; so I additionally needed to bend over backwards and that was how we nominated him. In this trouble of way forward, a state governor have to be capable of do the entirety possible to have peace in his state. As for me, I worry God a lot.   That does not imply i’m a saint, but I worry God plenty because the effects of now not fearing God are so grave THIS INTERVIEW become FIRST AIRED ON CHANNELS television

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