Wike and Amaechi are in the wrestling arena again over helicopters. We are sick and tired of their constant bickering
This time, they are at each other's throats over helicopters.
It all began when two Bell 412 security surveillance helicopters, found their way to the country's premier port in Apapa, Lagos.
Early reports suggested that the helicopters had been impounded by Customs because no one had come forward to claim them.
That bit of news riled Wike who tongue-lashed Customs for choosing to play politics with property belonging to the people of Rivers State.
According to Wike, the helicopters were purchased by the Amaechi led administration. However, he couldn't claim them because the State couldn't afford what was required in custom duties.
The Rivers Governor also said he wrote a letter to President Buhari demanding that the helicopters be handed over to the Air Force since the federal government had refused to grant waivers on the helicopters.
And then, it all went political from here.
According to Wike, Amaechi bought the helicopters because he couldn't deliver good governance to the people of Rivers during his spell as Governor.
“The immediate past Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, could not provide the people of Rivers State with good governance that was why he had to recourse to the purchase of Armoured Helicopters", Wike said in a statement signed by his aide, Simeon Nwakaudu.
The statement continued: “Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has no need for Armoured helicopters because he has provided the good people of Rivers State with good governance and they are happy with him.
“In any case, Rivers State is not at war with any country, hence there is no need for armoured helicopters".
Amaechi would have none of it, though.
The current Minister of Transport said he acquired the helicopters to curb the criminal activities of kidnappers and militants in Rivers.
Amaechi also lamented that Wike had chosen to play politics with the 'birds'.
The former Rivers Governor said he procured the helicopters in collaboration with the Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).
“To show their support, the Federal government through the office of the NSA contributed $15million, about half of the total sum, towards the purchase of the helicopters.
“Also, the then former President Goodluck Jonathan administration granted waivers to the Rivers State government to purchase and import the helicopters,” Amaechi clarified.
The minister said Wike (who served as Minister of Education in the Jonathan cabinet) convinced the former President not to have anything to do with the helicopters afterwards.
“It was obvious why the President Goodluck Jonathan administration acted the way it did and Nyesom Wike, the present Governor of Rivers State was an integral part, a major player in the whole conspiracy to block and prevent Rivers State government from taking possession of the helicopters.
“Then, as a minister in President Jonathan’s cabinet, Wike inundated President Jonathan with fake stories of how then Governor Amaechi wanted to use the helicopters for Presidential campaigns against Jonathan, how Amaechi will use the helicopters to support President Jonathan’s opponents before and during the presidential elections and all sorts of concocted tales that created a false impression that the Amaechi government in Rivers State would use the helicopters against and to fight President Jonathan, and not to secure lives and property.
“Wike then, was already nursing the ambition to run for the office of Governor of Rivers State. He didn’t care about the security of lives and property.
“The helicopters were procured by the Amaechi administration to curb the wanton menace of criminals in the State (which has since worsened under Wike’s watch), but in his usual habit, Governor Wike has decided to abandon and dump the helicopters, because he does not care about the safety and security of lives and property in the State. Sad, very sad.”
There you have it, people--it's all power and politics for these guys.
Wike doesn't want to have anything to do with anything that has Amaechi on it. That's what this is all about. This has nothing to do with whether Rivers can afford to pay duties on the helicopters or not.
This has nothing to do with the federal government refusing to grant waivers to the Rivers State government.
This has everything to do with the long running, bitter politics between Amaechi and Wike.
This is APC Vs PDP politics at play here...at the expense of the good people of Rivers State.
This is dirty ol' mudslinging between two men who hate the sight of the other.
The bigger question has been submerged in the politics, sadly. Which is--Does Rivers still need these helicopters to combat crime within its borders? Will those helicopters prove useful in the grand scheme of things?
Amaechi and Wike would not waste an opportunity to drag themselves in the mud.
This helicopter incident was a glorious opportunity for them both.
Unfortunately, the overall interests of the people have been relegated to the background yet again.
Someone needs to tell these men that their constant fights and endless bickering have become tiring and irritating to watch and read.
This latest episode is pettiness at its silliest.
They really should grow up.