- Gov’s escort rider knocked down, policemen in pilot car attacked
…Wike’s men were the aggressors –Minister’s media office
From Tony John, Port Harcourt
There was an showdown yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, between Governor Nyesom Wike and the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, with both men accusing each other of attempted assassination, as their security details clashed.
A statement from the Government House, Port Harcourt, which gave an account of the incident said that Governor Wike escaped assassination when the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (F-SARS) and soldiers in the motorcade of the minister, who was in Port Harcourt, attacked his convoy.
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu who signed the statement said the governor was on project inspection when the incident occurred at Nwanja junction on Trans-Amadi Road, Port Harcourt, adding that Wike was not harmed despite the attack.
Nwakaudu explained that F-SARS personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy knocked down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car.
According to Nwakaudu, the minister’s Aide-De-Camp, simply identified as Debewari, allegedly supervised the attack, which included damage of cameras held by journalists.
He also alleged that the Commander of Rivers SARS, Mr. Akin Fakorede, who received the Minister of Transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, also witnessed the incident.
The governor’s aide said that after the attack, Wike continued with his inspection of projects.
A reaction from Amaechi’s media office, however, alleged that the minister narrowly escaped being shot by security men attached to Wike, but ended up vandalising his car instead.
The statement reads: “In a blatant show of naked raw power, minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, this afternoon (yesterday) narrowly escaped being shot by security men attached to the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. His car wasn’t that lucky though. The car was vandalised with a broken side mirror.
“The incident occurred in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, along Trans-Amadi road, Nwanja axis. The minister had arrived Port Harcourt this afternoon (yesterday).
“Accompanied by cars of many of his supporters, the minister’s black jeep was intercepted and blocked at the junction by the security motorcycle outrider attached to Wike after two cars had passed through. One of the two cars had security men assigned to protect the minister in Port Harcourt. Suddenly, gun-totting security men attached to Wike’s convoy, surrounded the minister’s car, threatening to shoot him. They hit the car, tried to smash the windscreens, back and side windows and broke a side mirror. All through this attack, Amaechi remained calm, inside the fortified jeep. While the attack occurred, Wike remained inside his vehicle.
“The minister eventually passed through after the intervention of the security team on ground to protect him in Port Harcourt. However, when Governor Wike got to the point where the incident occurred after Amaechi’s vehicle had gone by, his security men blocked the road again, dragged out from a vehicle and thoroughly beat up a policeman attached to protect Amaechi in Port Harcourt. The policeman’s rifle was also taken from him.
“Wike came out of his car, and with his security team, was going from one vehicle to another of Amaechi supporters, charging at them, harassing and abusing them. Wike’s security men were heard loudly insulting Amaechi and called him all sorts of derogative names.
“This is a crass show of high handedness, arbitrary behaviour and abuse of public office by a state governor who has no care for the safety of Rivers people.” (The Sun)