Former Governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has described as mischievous alleged missing N53 billion by Nyesom Wike’s Panel of Inquiry.
A statement by his Media Office on Wednesday, noted that the Panel of Inquiry is a last ditch effort by Governor Nyesom Wike to stop the nomination of Mr. Amaechi as a Minister.
While challenging the Governor to head to court, Mr. Amaechi again took time to explain the facts surrounding the amount in question.
The statement reads: “The attention of the media office of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has been drawn to a statement credited to the chairman of Mr. Nyesom Wike’s invidious panel of inquiry.
The statement credited to the panel’s chairman Justice Omeriji of a “missing” N53 billion is unfortunate and leaves much to be desired. The mischief is all the more evident as the funds referred to are funds from the Rivers State reserve fund which was duly approved by the a rivers State House of Assembly and whose expenditure were duly captured and accounted for.
“Ordinarily, we might not have responded to the mischief of Mr. Wike knowing that having failed with his various desperate tactics to stop the nomination of the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi as a minister he has embarked on this last ditch effort which is his trump card in the hope that it will diminish the former governors towering stature as a statesman and honest Nigerian.
“However in keeping with Governor Amaechi’s ethos of transparent and accountable leadership we will again repeat the facts of the matter. Between 2013 and early 2015 revenue accruing to the government of Rivers state was cut in half due to swindling federal allocation to states. From about an average of N20billion, the state began receiving between N9billion and N10 billion.
“By the middle of the first quarter of 2015 the state revenue dipped to as low as N6 billion. Salaries alone stood at over N9 billion besides other expenses. Government has set aside a reserve funds as a rainy day fund and had need to fall back to it to find salaries and projects. The details of the expenditure were very clearly captured and this information which was already in the public domain was shared with the incoming and the Omeriji panel.
“Government business should be transparent and honest and if indeed Mr. Nyesom Wike understand that basics of governance then he should know that rather than playing to the gallery with his red herring of a panel, he should simply go to court and prove his spurious allegations of corruption. to court if he is sure there is corruption.
“Spending resources left behind for the betterment of Rivers people by a prudent and thrifty government on frivolities is indeed irresponsible and unbecoming for a person who aspires to public office especially that of the exalted office of governor.
“We would counsel Mr. Wike to focus on the job at hand and try to make something of the few days he has before he leaves brick house, per adventure he might yet make some positive impact on the minds of Rivers people”.