The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has explained why former Governor of the state and Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi’s was not mentioned among 127 distinguished personalities honoured on Saturday by the state.
Past military and civilian governors of the state were awarded by the state as it marked 50 years of existence, without mentioning the immediate past governor.
Wike, who took time to clarify the absence of Amaechi from the list of awardees, said the law establishing the award would be amended to ensure that people of questionable character, no matter their previous positions, did not get honour from the state.
Recall that Amaechi had earlier rejected the award, describing it as a poisoned chalice.
But Wike stated that his predecessor was indicted by a judicial commission of inquiry into the sale of the state’s assets, hence did not merit the award.
The governor said the Minister’s name was merely included in the list because he was a former governor.
Wike told journalists, “You will agree with me that any person with such antecedents and formal indictment is not and cannot be a fit and proper person to be bestowed with state honours.
“Accordingly, we queried the nomination of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi on that premise but conceded, albeit, reluctantly when we were told that his nomination was fiat accompli under the State Honours Law by virtue of his position as a former governor of the state.
“Now that our unusual magnanimity in the spirit of the Jubilee is unappreciated, we think it is proper to amend the law and safeguard its credibility from being eroded or undermined,” Wike said.
He described the awardees as heroes, who had inspired generations and urged them to continue to uphold the finest values of hard work, courage, commitment and determination.
He added, “Rivers people are all proud of you. You are our heroes.
“You have inspired generations and we pray you continue to inspire us by upholding the finest values of hard work, courage, commitment, determination, competitive spirit, love for knowledge and love for your country, your state and the nation.”