Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike on Saturday engaged in verbal altercation 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 of Rivers State.
The Minister of Transportation first fired the salvo, saying that insecurity in Rivers State was at its peak, likening it to the days of a notorious militant leader, Ateke Tom is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state.
Amaechi said voices have been lost due to fear and political intimidation in Rivers, while adding that when he governed Rivers State for eight years, he allowed people to express themselves.
“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.
He disclosed that he no longer travels due to bad weather, but has to be available for the burial of Justice Karibi-Whyte because he was such a man blessed by God.
“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.
Reacting, Wike described Rotimi Amaechi’s comments as embarrasing, stressing that the late Justice Karibi-Whyte was an epitome of integrity, dignity and civility who’s burial shouldn’t deserve this.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Emeka Woke, the governor said Amaechi had since lost touch with developments in Rivers, reminding him that security of lives and properties has greatly improved since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration.
Wike said, “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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