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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Rivers Govt Reacts To Amaechi’s Rejected Award


The Rivers State government has reacted to the award given to the Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi by the governor of the state Nyesom Wike, describing it as a moral relief. 

In a statement by the Commissioner of Information, Austin Tam-George said, it is important to clarify that the Rivers State Government never set out to honour Mr Amaechi for any admirable service to the state during his time as governor.

As part of the events of the state’s Golden Jubilee celebration, the state government accepted the recommendation of the organising committee that a variety of awards be given to different categories of individuals who have earned a place in the history of the state.

There is a category of the awards designated for former governors of the State. And as a former governor, Mr Amaechi fell automatically into that category.

We wish to emphasise that the award was never meant as a validation of Mr Amaechi’s administration.


Mr Amaechi was personally indicted for stealing billions of public funds during his time in office, by a court-approved panel of inquiry set up by the state government.

The government will soon initiate a prosecutorial process against him in multiple jurisdictions, in Nigeria and abroad. And no award would have stopped that process.

We must confess that as a government, we wrestled with the moral horror of giving any kind of award to a man whose government was no better than wrong.

Mr Amaechi may be a scoundrel of history, but he was once a governor of the state. The proposed award was to serve as a sad acknowledgement of the especially dark place he occupies in our state’s otherwise illustrious history.

His rejection of the award is, therefore, a huge moral relief for the administration, and the people of the state.

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