The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Sunday, frowned at the press release by the Rivers State Information and Communications Commissioner, Dr. Austin Tam-George, linking the name of Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to the unfortunate comments by UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, that Nigeria is fantastically corrupt, describing it as “nothing more than a worthless piece of mischief by someone who continues to demonstrate that he is still very bitter that the former governor of Rivers State once did not oblige him a favour, adding that it would be an item for discourse on another day.”
The APC in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Senibo Finebone said: “It must be observed that there is no nexus between the sad comments by Prime Minister David Cameron and the spin Dr. Tam-George tried so hard to weave around the name of the Honourable Minister of Transportation. To the unbiased observer, it is merely a pedestrian attempt at creating some propaganda with an intention to throw mud at the Minister – an agenda which Dr. Tam-George rode on to become the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication.
“There is no doubt that it gives Dr. Tam-George a sense of achievement and inner satisfaction each time he throws mud at an innocent man who he thinks denied him an opportunity when he needed it most.
“Back to the issues raised by Dr. Tam-George; did the Amaechi administration receive over N3 trillion between 2007 and 2015? It might be necessary for the Commissioner to lay bare how he arrived at that sum. Again, why did the Commissioner not attempt to present a detailed listing of the projects and programmes undertaken by the Amaechi administration so that his audience can best make their own conclusions?” the APC queried.
The APC reminded the Commissioner to know that even in trying to do mischief; he should have consciously exhibited some level of sincerity and honesty to save himself from some obvious contradictions.
“One may ask, with what money did the former governor conceptualise, commence and prosecute what Dr. Tam-George referred to as “the most abandoned projects in the history of Rivers State, since 1967?”
Apart from the regime of Alfred Diette-Spiff, can Dr. Tam-George, in good conscience, equate the number and scope/dimensions of projects and programmes started, completed and ongoing by the Amaechi administration by May 29, 2015 with those of all the other administrations put together?” the state further questioned.
Continuing the APC asked, “Even if it is convenient for Dr. Tam-George to feign ignorance of the fact that under the administration of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the State’s monthly allocation fell from N25b to a paltry N7b or even less sometimes, were the uncompleted projects at the time the former governor left office on May 27, 2015 ‘abandoned’ as the Commissioner would want the world to believe or were their completion slowed down due to the parlous state of the Rivers State finances for upwards of 2 years before May 29, 2015? In any case, is Dr. Tam-George unaware of the actions of some powerful leaders of his party that levied group punishment on Rivers people by taking the State’s oil wells and giving same to Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and other states thereby pauperising Rivers State and its people?”
“Dr. Tam-George should search his conscience (if he has one) and provide answers to these questions. However, he is at liberty to choose whether to continue to see the glass as half full or half empty because of his eternal desire to exact a needless pound of flesh from Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi” the party advised.
.“If what Dr. Austin Tam-George meant by “court-approved judicial panel of inquiry” refers to the Omereji panel report, why has the Rivers State Government not made the report public so that Nigerians will take notice or, at best, respond to the challenge by the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi that the state government should go to court with the panel’s findings? Happily, the former governor is in possession of that report and has stated many a time that the report did not indict him. Why resort to media blackmail rather than do the needful?”
“It is not unusual to hear the Wike-led Rivers State Government brandish the uncompleted Monorail Project as the poster boy of their campaign of calumny against the former governor. The Wike administration has access to records concerning the project and the companies that executed every aspect of it thus far and they are very much around. Why has the government been unable to unravel any corruption issues in the project? Why has the Wike government not been able to provide information on any cheaper monorail project anywhere else in the world? It cannot because the Rivers State Monorail Project is the cheapest monorail [per mile] done anywhere in the world. That paucity of funds occasioned by the pauperisation of the State by the Jonathan administration stalled the completion of the project is a major chapter of the monorail story but that the project had corruption issues around it is an impossible proposition.”