The Presidency has again, dismissed insinuations in some quarters that President Goodluck Jonathan is behind the crisis rocking Rivers state. Rather, it says, the state Governor Rotimi Amaechi should be held responsible.
Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak while fielding questions from State House correspondents on Friday, defended his boss, saying Jonathan is also a victim of Governor Amaechi’s mischief.
“He should not drag Jonathan’s name into this matter. Rather, it is the President that is the victim of Amaechi’s mischief plan. He is claiming the state is under siege and that the commissioner of police is against him whereas the CP warned him not to go physically into the House of Assembly,” Gulak said.
Justifying his position, the political aide insisted it was wrong for the governor to have acted contrary to the advice of the state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu that he should not go into the House of Assembly on Tuesday when pandemonium broke out there.
He wondered what informed the Governor’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) and ADC joining in the beating that was captured on the video clips. Gulak said the governor should have respected the principle of separation of powers as entrenched in the country’s constitution.
The Presidential Political aide spoke further, “The problem in Rivers State is the internal wrangling of the administration of the governor. It is sad that when there are crises in the assembly, the governor will physically drive to the House of Assembly to partake in the crises.
“We have seen the video clips, the CSO to the governor; the ADC and the Orderly were right inside the chambers, partaking in the bout. We saw the Majority Leader of the Amaechi group who was wearing a white dress and was using the mace to beat people. The video is clear.
“Immediately after, he left the House of Assembly and went to the Government House and laid down on a bed in the Government House Clinic pretending.
“The fact is in this crisis of Rivers State, the governor should be held responsible because if he did not go physically to the House of Assembly, those guys won’t have been emboldened to be beating people there.
“More so, that his security aides were right inside the chambers, the sacred chambers, which ordinarily nobody is allowed to enter apart from the members. So I repeat that Amaechi should be held responsible for what happened.
“There is separation of power in the constitution. We have the judiciary, legislature and executive. When there are crises in the House of Assembly like this, the governor is not supposed to physically partake in the crises, driving down and using his security aides to physically partake is wrong”.
According to Gulak, Rivers is not the first state that will witness fracas in the House of Assembly, recalling that “There was a time Adamawa State House of Assembly was closed for three months because of crisis; we did not see the governor drive physically into the assembly. Thereafter, the issue was resolved”.
He also denied knowledge of any plan to impeach Governor Amaechi but hastened to add that the lawmakers have the right to change their leadership anytime they want.
His words, “I am not aware of any plan to impeach the governor and the President is not aware even if there are such plans. But what I know is that the House of Assembly intended to change their leadership, rightly or wrongly, they have a constitution right to do it if they have the majority. But that will not warrant a governor to physically come to the assembly and physically partake in the fight”.
Gulak also reacted to the accusation by Prof Wole Soyinka that President Jonathan and the First Lady should be held responsible for the crisis. He said, “Soyinka, without knowing the fact just went public to blame the President and his wife for what is happening in the state. He is an elder statesman, I don’t want to join issues with him but I will say that he should be responsible,” he said.