The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has lambasted Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for saying the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will set Nigeria on fire if he doesn’t implement the demands of the South-South people.
South-South leaders including Wike had demanded the restructuring of the country in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.
Wike and the leaders made the demand during a recent meeting with the presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
The governor subsequently said the President will set the country on fire by not implementing these demands.
But reacting last night, Amaechi, who was governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015, chided his successor for issuing the ‘threat’.
Amaechi said: “That is not something that should come out from the mouth of a governor. It shouldn’t come out from the mouth of a governor.”
According to the minister, the South-South people had the opportunity of restructuring the country under the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan but nothing was done.
The former governor spoke last night on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said: “Don’t forget that President Goodluck Jonathan ran under the auspices of South-South presidency. We talked about restructuring and resource control but he was there for six years and the resources were not controlled neither were they handed over to the South-South. It is much more than that.
“I am from the South-South and while I agree that we are not fairly treated, I don’t also agree anybody can set the country on fire; no president should act on such threat. A more matured person won’t make such comment.”
Continuing the minister added, “Why is it that it is only when the north is in power that we raise the issue of restructuring? Have we asked ourselves that we had the opportunity of been in government for six years and nothing changed?
“I’m not against the president addressing the demands but the president can’t address them under threats.”
The ex-governor, who has been at loggerheads with Wike since he left office in 2015, however, refused to comment on possible reconciliation with his successor.