Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Wike , and his predecessor , Rotimi Amaechi , on Saturday engaged in a verbal fight at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi – Whyte , in the Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.
Amaechi , who is the Minister of Transportation, while speaking at the funeral service, lamented what he termed the rising insecurity and political intimidation in the state , saying the state was back to the time of Ateke Tom , a former militant leader, who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state.
“ 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 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.
“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed . I have stopped travelling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte .
“If you knew Justice ( Karibi -Whyte ) very well, you will know I was close to him . I was one of the few people he mentored, ” Amaechi stated.
Wike on his part described the late Karibi -Whyte as an epitome of unshakable integrity , civility and dignity, but noted that comments credited to Amaechi were embarrassing.
Responding to Amaechi , Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff , Chief Emeka Woke, said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state , adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration , the security situation had improved greatly .
Wike said, “ It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office.
“ I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi – Whyte , a man he (Amaechi ) claimed to be his mentor .”