There is a fresh report on the allegation by Gov Nyesom Wike that ex-LG bosses were forced to finance the pet project of ex-First Lady, Judith Amaechi.
Two ex-LG bosses, Ojukaye Amachree and Fred Igwe faulted the allegation credited to the Rivers State governor.
The former LG bosses stressed that at no time were they coerced or intimidated to pay any money to Amaechi’s wife.
A statement by the coalition of the ex-commissioners and LG bosses reads: “Nyesom Wike, since his assumption to office, appears to have a major agendum, which is to tarnish the sterling reputation of former governor, Amaechi; his erstwhile benefactor.
“He is bereft of ideas and unprepared for the task of governing a heterogeneous state like Rivers. We want to state that no (former) council chairman either individually or as a group of chairmen or state commissioners were told, coerced, intimidated or persuaded to pay any money to the wife of the former governor. And no money was given to her.
“On several occasions, Wike, hiding under the subterfuge of his office as an intermediary between the then governor and other elected or appointed public officials, made financial demands and extorted money from council chairmen, including arm-twisting them to award contracts to him.
“It is on record that several LGA projects then, including the new secretariat of Port Harcourt City Council and Etche Council, were done by Wike. Council chairmen and state officials were forced to contribute several millions of naira to Wike under the pretext of fighting his legal battle with the EFCC when he was arrested and tried for corruption.
“For the most flimsy excuses Wike placed hefty levies on council chairmen. Failure to pay is usually met with stiff sanctions,” the statement read.
Wike had reportedly said that the former commissioners and council chairmen were forced to pay N2m and N3m respectively to Amaechi’s wife during the immediate past governor’s administration.
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