Some former local government chairmen and commissioners in Rivers State have debunked claims that wife of Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of the state received monthly salaries from them.
Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike had alleged that former chairmen and commissioners paid N2m and N3m respectively to Amaechi’s wife during the immediate past governor’s administration.
But in a statement signed by former chairman of Asari-Toru LGA, Mr. Ojukaye Amachree, and ex-Commissioner for Sports, Fred Igwe n Thursday, the former chairmen and commissioners said they were never coerced to pay Amaechi’s wife, Dame Judith Amaechi.
They said, “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.
They urged him to tender an “unreserved” apology to the wife of the former governor immediately or be ready to face the consequences.