From Vivian Israel, Port Harcourt
Elders, Leaders and people of Bonny Local Government Area in Rivers State have described Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as a rare gem in the state’s history and applauded him for his achievements and courage.
They spoke during a solidarity visit to Governor Amaechi at Banquet Hall, Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Amasenibo Nelson Ben Irigmha, who addressed the governor on behalf of the people commended him for his boldness and leadership vision and for defending the interests of people of the state.
“Your Excellency, we are here on solidarity visit from Bonny Local Government Council. Today, we are aware that God sent you to Rivers State to be our mouthpiece, to defend us, to fight for us. Our own governor, if anybody tells you that any of us here is not aware of what you have gone through in the present context of Nigeria, sir the person will be deceiving you. Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, Chibuike Amaechi, what actually did you do, what did you do? You are fighting for justice, you are fighting for equity, you are fighting to defend the interest of the Rivers man. Your Excellency, you know one thing that happened. It is not only our prayers, it is God that saved you. You know how He saved you? You narrowly missed, if not they would have ‘Timipre Sylvad’ you.
“Your Excellency, why are you being prosecuted, why all these wahala you are going through, how has it happened that all of a sudden Soku oil wells is no more in Rivers State? How has it happened that all of a sudden we are conceding close to 41 oil wells? Rivers State was created in 1967. Since 1967 when we had boundary between Rivers State and the then East Central State and our boundaries were well defined right from colonial era till tomorrow. Nembes and the Kalabaris have shared common boundaries which is obvious, everybody knows about it, what is the problem now? After 2 million votes and above from Rivers State, that we were supposed to be thanked for, haha, Your Excellency, the problem is not just yours, it’s ours.
“Your Excellency, if you watch us properly, the average Bonny man why we are not rich, there are some certain norms we don’t compromise. We have comfortably and quietly sat without anybody prompting us. We have been praying seriously and fervently for you because it is not an easy game for you to confront this cabal in this confused amalgam called ‘Naija”.
“Your Excellency, you are a very rare gem, somebody like you, ‘we never see am’. Your plane was grounded, people came to pay you solidarity visit, they decided to pelt them, they transported Joseph Mbu to Rivers State to become de facto governor? Good God, and we are supposed to shut up, nobody is supposed to talk? Your Excellency, may God and our ancestors continue to guide you”, Amasenibo Ben Irigmha said.
According to him, the people of Bonny had resolved to support Governor Amaechi all the way and described those fighting the governor as desperate politicians who had nothing to offer in leadership.
Earlier, leader of Bonny politics and Transport Commissioner, Hon. George Tolofari in his opening remarks said they came to express their solidarity and support to the governor in the face of his current political challenges.
Also speaking, Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Hon. Edward Pepple said they came to reaffirm their support for him.
Responding, Governor Chibuike Amaechi expressed appreciation for the solidarity visit. He said those fighting him lacked moral principles and character.
“Because they have no character they will come back to you once we defeat them. Write it down now. Some Nigerian politicians are politicians because of stomach, so they take a gamble. Now they think because federal government is fighting this man, so the federal government will win, so they have joined. But, we will defeat them.”
“When we defeat them, they will be telling you ‘you see, I was deceived. It’s this man that deceived me. Please forgive me na, take me to your leader’. You know I have been in politics since 1987. I left university 1987 and I joined politics 1987, so I know politicians very well. There are very few politicians that are of character and when we talk about politicians, we are not talking about the followership because a lot of you in the followership actually are innocent but it’s the elite, the leaders that deceive the people and deceive themselves. So stand where you are and work towards victory”, he said.
He criticized the federal government for failing to give attention to Bonny Island, one of the country’s major oil and economic melting point.
He said he was considering constructing a road with bridges to link Bonny Island to other parts of the state and pledged to commence marine transportation to convey people to and from Bony Island.
Prayers were said for Governor Amaechi and Rivers State by men of God.