At the presentation of the book, ‘Dynamics of Change: The Amaechi Years’ in Lagos, Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi narrated how he was a marked out following a secret order from the federal government to security agencies to arrest him if the PDP won the presidential election.
According to Amaechi, the Goodluck Jonathan government hunted him and was determined to cage him, withdrawing his diplomatic passport and refusing to re-issue him an ordinary international passport.
“I was so determined that there would be change because if there was no change, I would be finished. For me, it was a matter of life and death. The federal government sent a signal that if they won, nobody should allow me to leave Nigeria. Today, I have been given back my diplomatic passport two weeks to the end of the government. I lost my green passport in Ghana sometime ago. Now, they have re-issued me a new one.”
The presentation which had in attendance eminent personalities who contributed immensely to the success of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded general elections, including captains of industries, x-rayed the eight years of Amaechi as governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015, his policies, speeches and motives behind his actions.
The event was chaired by Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, retired justice of Supreme Court; Prof. Wole Soyinka who gave a short remark; Bishop Mathew Hassan-Kukah, who reviewed the book. Mr. Tonye Cole, CEO of Sahara Group, made the public presentation.
Amaechi gave thanks to God for the change that took place at the elections, saying he had been a marked man for his vehement opposition to injustice in the country.
The Rivers governor stated that he saw the trouble ahead of him. “I knew that I was going to be in trouble. I told Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that what was important was that he should lead in the history of first civilian coup in Nigeria. I am happy that he was part of this revolution.”
He said when people began to wonder whether APC could organise an elective primary or not, “I went to Asiwaju and told him if we don’t do convention, we were finished and he led us to a convention.”
He traced the genesis of his rift with the presidency to the crisis that ensured over the River State government’s plan to develop the Okirika waterfront from its slum position to a habitable place which led to a quarrel with the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, which later spilled over to the elections of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
He said President Goodluck Jonathan was so determined that he should not be re-elected, which gave rise to the 16 votes being greater than 19 votes. Other rifts included the snatching of Rivers State oil wells up to Abonema by the federal government and handing them over to Bayelsa State.
...I Support Governor Amaechi, 16 Cannot Be Greater Than 19 – Prof. Wole Soyinka