At Karibi-Whyte’s burial, Amaechi, Wike renew verbal war

*** We’re back to Ateke Tom’s era in Rivers – Minister

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*** You’ve lost touch with reality, says Governor

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi on Saturday renewed their verbal mudslinging at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, in the Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.

Wike and Amechi had been on warpath from the days of the later as governor of Rivers State and the former as Minister of State for Education, resulting in the state sharply factionalised along two political divides.

However, for some time, the two political gladiators somewhat suspended their constant throw of darts on each other.

But, at the burial of the late jurist, Amaechi did not spare any word in accusing the government in the state of complete failure especially in the area of secueity of lives and property of the people of the state.

He painted a gloomy picture to the extent he said the situation had so degenerated that he likened it to what happened in time past when Ateke Tom, a former militant leader, who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state dominated the landscape.

“You have lost your voice. The sage has gone under and nobody is speaking. When I was governor, I gave people voices, but they have blocked those voices.

“Everyone is scared. We are going back to when Ateke held sway. We are going back to the period where we run away from our people. We are back to a period when nobody could speak. But from next year, I will begin to speak, if nobody wants to speak.

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“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed. I have stopped travelling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte.

“If you knew Justice (Karibi-Whyte) very well, you will know I was close to him. I was one of the few people he mentored,” Amaechi stated.

As if not ready to allow the minister enjoy the momentum, Governor Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Emeka Woke said Amaechi had lost touch with the reality.

While accepting that the late jurist was an epitome of integrity, civility and dignity, the governor described his predecessor’s remarks at the funeral as completely uncalled for.

He said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state, adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration, the security situation had improved greatly.

“It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office.

“I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi-Whyte, a man he (Amaechi) claimed to be his mentor.”

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