Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his predecessor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, have renewed their verbal war over the state of governance and development in the state.
Amaechi drew first blood Saturday on the renewed verbal attack during the funeral for eminent jurist, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte at Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, where he said Rivers people, under Wike, have lost their voices to speak on the state of Rivers as opposed to the freedom of expression that was obtained in his days at the helms.
He said, "You have lost your voice. The sage (the late justice) has gone under and nobody is speaking. When I was governor, I gave people voices, but they have blocked those voices. Everyone is scared.
"We are going back to when Ateke Tom 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."
Reacting, his predecessor, Wike, yesterday, said, "Amaechi does not have the moral ground to talk about development in Rivers when he wasted so much money on non-existing projects.
"Go round the state, you will never see anything that looks like Justice Karibi-Whyte Hospital. It was a scam that never existed. Again, tell me what the traffic situation is on Azikwe Road that a 1.2Km Monorail Project would be awarded for over N65billion.
"When I came into office, I was told that it will cost about N30billion to complete that project. If I had such money, I will build more infrastructure across the state. His Economic Advisory Council led by Prof Nimi Briggs published a document. The records covered activities of his administration from 2007 to 2014.
"On education, the council recorded that 485 primary schools were proposed for construction. Some existing old schools were demolished when they required rehabilitation. Work started on 478 schools but only 116 schools were completed across the state.
"Amaechi also awarded 15 Modern Secondary Schools for 15 local government areas at over N4billion each. Only the Ambassador Nne Krukrubo School in Eleme council was completed and functional before he left office."
On Amaechi's notion of renewed fear among Rivers populace under Wike, he said, "Rivers State is safer than any other state. See what is happening in Bornu, Kaduna and Plateau States where bandits have taken over their areas.
"When Amaechi was governor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc was chased away because of insecurity. But they are here now, constructing roads all over the state without fear.
"Amaechi's hometown, Ubima is a place you have a large number of cultists he uses. The heads of security agencies he influences their postings, come here and see the reality on the ground that the state is safe."