Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said that he is responsible for the emergence of his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, as governor.
This is as he also described himself as the engine room of the former governor.
Wike said this on Saturday while speaking with journalists at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
The governor explained that he was teaching those in Amaechi’s camp the way to play the game of politics, because “there is no polling booth in the state that I do not know or do not know anybody.”
For those who have been criticizing his emergence as governor, he said, “the fact is that I was prepared for that election.
“I was a council chairman. There is nowhere in this state that I do not know. There is no ward I do not know one person.
“As I sit down here, I can mention one, person from each ward. I know the politicians in this state. I know who has strength and who does not have strength.”
Wike also said during the course of the campaigns he was strong and healthy. “I never emaciated one day, the truth of the matter is that if you do the election 100 times in this state, I will win,” he said.
Wike also dismissed claims that he received the sum of N108 billion from former president Goodluck Jonathan as a refund for the rehabilitation of federal roads by the past administration of Rotimi Amaechi.
Wike described the allegation as a frivolous one that should be disregarded by well-meaning Nigerians and the people of the state, maintaining that he met an empty treasury in the state.
There have been speculations in some quarters that the governor received the said amount from the former President as reimbursement for the federal roads repaired by the former administration.
Wike explained that it was not possible for such a huge amount of money to be released to him without anybody being able to trace it.
He said, “It is not possible for me to receive N108 billion. Did Jonathan pay the money into my account or gave me cash?
“Was I paid the money before or after I was sworn-in as governor? Did Jonathan have the power to sign for such money after President Mohammadu Buhari was sworn-in?
“Is it possible that nobody can trace the money (N108 billion) if it was given to me? It is unfortunate how people have trivialised governance. So such stories should be discountenanced,” Wike added.
He explained that despite meeting an empty treasury when he assumed duty as governor, the state Ministry of Works was indebted to the tune of N200 billion under the past administration.
On recently recovered government property, the governor insisted that the vehicle seized from the former Commissioner for Information’s residence belonged to the state government.
“The bulletproof Lexus 570 is the property of the state government and it is worth between N60 million to N70 million. I personally impounded three Rivers State Government vehicles in Abuja from the Liaison Officer,” Wike said.
Describing the scholarship programme of the past administration as a scam, the governor explained that Rivers students, who were beneficiaries of the scheme, were suffering abroad.
He decried a situation where the former administration used consultants to execute jobs that would have been done by the State Scholarship Board.