By Kalada Jumbo
The recent series of purported audio leaks on the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, have been described as a failed old trick, aimed at diminishing the ever-growing national appeal of the Minister.
One of the strongest voices of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the South-South region of the country and one time National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New PDP (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who made the disclosure in a statement issued and circulated in Port Harcourt on Thursday, also alleged that “the so-called audio leak series is a project being sponsored by a trio Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Senator Magnus Abe and some frightened members of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who thought erroneously that if we can bring Amaechi down then it will become an easy task for them to win the 2019 general elections”.
Eze lamented that “since the ousting of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 from power which Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was the arrowhead, the beneficiaries of that deposed corrupt government have not forgiven him. In their frustration and desperation these looters in Chief have to engage characterlless fellows like Reno Omokri to circulate a worthless concocted audio tape wherein the Minister was alleged of disparaging President Muhammadu Buhari and his achievements with hope of causing conflict between President Buhari and his dear son, Amaechi”.
According to Eze, “just like the frantic struggle to stick a stamp of corruption on the minister, prior to his eventual screening by the National Assembly towards the end of 2015, when he was nominated for the ministerial position, the sponsors of the alleged leak are bent on achieving two goals; put a wedge between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister, as well as create a wrong narrative of an untrustworthy character on Amaechi”.
However, Eze noted that “the plot and its execution had failed right from the moment it was conceived because most Nigerians have come to understand that Amaechi, being one of the most critical factors to the ouster of the PDP from its merciless milking of the nation’s resources, will continue to be a target of attack from the reactionary elements that represent the former ruling”.
He also pointed out that the responses so far coming from the Presidency and the national leadership of the APC have confirmed to the world that the targets aimed by the sponsors of the campaign of calumny have been missed, adding that only the overwhelming victory of the APC in Rivers state and at the national levels would properly compensate for the evil plots against the Minister, who is also the Director-General of the President Muhammadu Buhari Re-election Campaign Organisation.
“Nobody should really be amazed at what is happening now, I mean the so-called leaked audio, this is not their first time attempting to smare Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Hon Minister of Transportation, it is an old trick, which can easily be traced back to its sponsors. What is painful is the fact that one would have expected these fellows, who are well known for mischief to have learnt their lessons from their past failures”.
Eze explained further, in his words, “Wike’s desperation to drag Amaechi’s name in the mud, in order to frustrate his nomination or appointment as a Minster by sponsoring a satanic documentary on Amaechi, aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT) for which he earmarked billions of naira in his plot to destroy the person and character of Amaechi. Other propaganda tools planned and deployed during this period, in the war against Amaechi, include sponsored publications such as advertorials, columns, editorials and Op-Ed articles in major international, national and local print media; sponsored personality discussion programmes in the electronic media and sponsored special documentaries on television and radio through independent groups and organisations”.
“Other insidious plots by Wike to undermine Amaechi include commissioning a team made up of persons within and outside Rivers State to initiate, formulate and contrive false, damaging reports bordering on alleged corrupt practices by Amaechi, which were circulated to individuals and institutions within Nigeria and abroad, with a view to damaging the character and rising profile of Amaechi; in order to blackmail and put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari not to appoint him into his government. These cooked reports, to the shock of many Nigerians, was sent to the Senate and presented through one misguided former Senator Thompson Sekibo, which the Senate referred to its Ethics Committee. This caused the delay in Amaechi’s screening and confirmation as a minister.
“Wike did not stop at these, but went further to set up Justice George Omereji Panel, to investigate the administration of ex-governor Amaechi. Though the panel did not found any wrong-dealing, or corrupt practices by Amaechi, Wike went ahead to issue a white paper indicting him of embezzling the sum of N53 billion. How on earth can someone in his right senses describe funds withdrawn with the approval of the legislature and spent as prescribed by the State Budget to be missing? Wike, in his desperation to stop Amaechi’s appointment as a minister, resorted to dancing naked in the market place.
“But, as God will have it, and contrary to the expectations of Governor Wike and his gang of ingrates, their ferocious campaign to blackmail, disparage and portray Amaechi as a very corrupt person unfit to be appointed as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria failed to achieve the desired objective.
“It is sad and unfortunate that Wike, Abe and their PDP strategists are erroneously thinking that by plotting afresh by sponsoring this useless audio tape against Amaechi or trying to damage him that PDP will win the 2019 general elections. I wish to reiterate that such a plot has collapsed before, it is even hatched as the 2019 performance of PDP will be worse than her 2015 performance.
“Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of APC, has aptly exposed, via his official Twitter handle, ‘@A_Oshiomhole’, why the PDP bigwigs are afraid of Amaechi while reacting to the fabricated leaked audio tape, according to him, ‘the position held by Amaechi in the APC is causing the opposition sleepless nights and others headache. This #DubaiStrategy isn’t working, tell them to do more’.
“These confused group, thinking that by attempting to wrongly present to the world what Amaechi said about how the coming of Buhari had dealt a heavy blow on corruption, which results to the misconception of people attributing all their personal problems to Buhari because money is no longer distributed for jobs not done. They assumed that by circulating this so-called tape, Amaechi will lose the confidence of both President Buhari and APC key actors, but unfortunately for them, President Buhari ignored them and explained, while inaugurating the Presidential Campaign Council, the role of the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi as the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council.
“The President had said ‘to my mind, the division of responsibility is clear enough. The leadership that has formulated the campaign policy will supervise its execution; the Director-General will have overall responsibility for all aspects of the campaign, including field operations, while the Secretary will be responsible for all administrative and treasury-related activities of the council”, Eze said.
He, however, commended President Buhari, Asiwaju Tinubu, Comrade Oshiomhole and the APC for the trust and confidence reposed in Amaechi,
urging Nigerians to respect the position of President Buhari and act accordingly, saying “a victory for the party is a victory for all well-meaning Nigerians, who are committed to CHANGE from an inglorious past; where those in positions of public trust wilfully took for themselves what belonged to all; where the security of the citizens was second place to their acquisition of unwholesome wealth.”
“In case Nigerians have forgotten that these misguided elements started their unholy plots with Aisha Muhammadu Buhari allegedly buying dollars at CBN rate and re-selling at black market rate, then moved on to IGP Idris allegedly buying her Jeep, then moved to PMB himself with baba go-slow to Jubril of Sudan. They shifted focus to VP Osinbanjo and accused him of misappropriating NEMA billions and Trader Money, not done with PMB yet, they came up with his family owning 9mobil and Keystone Bank. None of the above had as much negative impact as they envisaged, now they moved on to Amaechi, PMB’s only begotten son thinking that they have hit a jackpot.
“Let me reiterate that Amaechi should be encouraged and not give in to the pranks of these funny fellows and know that God is always with him, “Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake”-Isaiah 54:15.
“No matter the efforts of both Wike and Abe that their very best, can never equal, not to talk about surpassing Amaechi’s sterling, innovative, radical, trend-setting and absolutely revolutionary records as a world acknowledged leader of our time. . Take it or leave it, Amaechi remains a hero of global reckoning.”
Chief Eze did not, however, provide proof of his allegations against the trio of Governor Wike, Senator Abe and the PDP.