Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, on Sunday, disagreed over the spate of insecurity in the state.
Amaechi, who spoke while attending the defection of two former commissioners in the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration and others to the All Progressives Congress (APC) at an event in Port Harcourt on Sunday, attributed the rising crime in parts of Rivers to the high level of unemployment.
He also accused Wike of acquiring properties and buildings everywhere in the state, pointing out that the state was in danger.
But Wike in a swift reaction said it was disingenuous for the Minister to blame the security challenge in the state on unemployment, saying the failure of the APC-led federal government was responsible for the prevailing insecurity in the country and not unemployment.
“Rivers State is in danger, completely. A state where properties are collected and somebody is busy building everywhere and nobody is talking.
“When I was governor, God knows, I did my best. I did not build only roads, I built schools. I did not build only roads, I built electricity. I built farms. I created employment. Rivers State was not among the highest unemployed community in Nigeria.
“I felt that you employed me. I was not your master; I was your servant. I was not a contractor. I paid contractors so that they can pay their workers and the money will circulate.
“The reason why crime is high in Rivers State is that unemployment is very high. That the reason why we had the Songhai Farm. Today, the Songhai Farm is gone. That is why we had the Banana Farm that they stopped in Khana (Ogoniland).
“That is why we had fish farms and that is why we were building a farm in Etche. We were doing all those things to create employment for the youths. That is why we hired 13,200 teachers and that is why we sent our children overseas to study,” Amaechi narrated.
But Wike in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, on Sunday, said Amaechi was indicting his boss President Muhammadu Buhari knowing full well that the latter was constitutionally saddled with the responsibility providing security for Nigerians.
The statement read, “Is unemployment fueling insecurity in Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Ondo, Ebony, Imo, Niger States governed by the All Progressives Congress (APC)?
“Is he (Amaechi) trying to indict his boss, President Muhammad Buhari, who is the Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and who is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility to provide security for Nigerians?
“It is a well-known fact that Amaechi is the one who appoints every Commissioner of Police that has been posted to Rivers State since 2015. So, if there is any security failure, he is to blame.”