Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said he escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and a group of soldiers attacked his convoy.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, alleged that the security agents who attacked Wike’s convoy were in the motorcade of the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
It noted that the convoy was attacked on Saturday afternoon at Nwanja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road in the state capital, while Wike was on a project inspection tour.
“The SARS personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy mowed down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car.
“Mr. Seimeikumo Debewari, Aide-De-Camp to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, supervised the attack, which led to the damage of cameras held by journalists.
“Mr. Debewari is the same police officer who assaulted members of the Rivers State House of Assembly in the fracas of 2014. Also, the Commander of Rivers SARS, Mr. Akin Fakorede, who received the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied him on his trip, took part in the attack,” the statement claimed.
It, however, pointed out that Wike continued with his project inspection after the incident, and that the governor was not injured in the attack.
“The minister of transportation had over 50 SARS personnel, soldiers and mobile policemen in his motorcade. However, while the SARS officers stepped down to assault the security personnel of the governor, the soldiers remained in their vehicle watching the scene,” the statement added.
Reacting, Amaechi said Wike’s security details pulled guns on him and vandalised his car. The minister, who spoke through a statement issued by his Media Office, described the governor’s claim as a blatant lie, insisting that he (Amaechi) was the person that escaped assassination.
The statement said, “In a blatant show of naked raw power, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, this afternoon narrowly escaped being shot by security men attached to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. His car wasn’t that lucky though. The car was vandalized and left with a broken side mirror.
“The incident occurred in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, along Trans-Amadi road, Nwaja axis. The minister had arrived Port Harcourt this afternoon (Saturday).
“Accompanied by cars of many of his supporters, the minister’s black SUV was intercepted and blocked at the junction by the security motorcycle outrider attached to Wike after two cars had passed through. One of the two cars conveyed security men assigned to protect the minister in Port Harcourt.
“Suddenly, security men attached to Wike’s convoy surrounded the minister’s car, threatening to shoot him. They hit the car, tried to smash the windscreens, windows and broke a side mirror. All through this attack, Amaechi remained calm inside the fortified vehicle. Wike also stayed inside his vehicle.
“The minister eventually passed through after the intervention of the security team on the ground to protect him in Port Harcourt.
“However, when Governor Wike got to the point where the incident occurred after Amaechi’s vehicle had gone, his security men blocked the road again, and thoroughly beat up a policeman attached to Amaechi in Port Harcourt. The policeman’s rifle was also taken from him.” Wike was reported to later come out of his car, with his security team, went to Amaechi’s convoy and abused the occupants.
Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, said there was no attack on the governor, describing the incident as a mere altercation between the governor’s security details and those of the Minister.
Omoni, however, disclosed that the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ahmed Zaki, had ordered that policemen involved in such altercation should be arrested.
“There was no attack on the governor. What happened was that the governor and the minister’s convoys ran into each others and there was an altercation. The State Police Commissioner has intervened and ordered the arrest of policemen involved in the act,” Omoni stated.