The Rivers State government has accused Rotimi Amaechi of attempting to incite hostility between Igbo and the residents of the state.
This was in response to his recent remarks on the subject of legally foreclosed non-indigenous land being abandoned in Rivers State.
After the Nigerian Civil War, the military government declared the possessions of Igbo property owners to be abandoned.
Yet, Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers, made a promise to supporters of his godson and APC governorship candidate Tonye Cole that if Cole wins the March 18 governorship election, he would return those possessions to the Igbos…..CONTINUE READING
In reaction to the promise, the Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, questioned the former minister’s assertion in a speech at Government House in Port Harcourt after the State Executive Council meeting, which was presided over by Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Adangor reprimanded Amaechi for his disrespectful attempt to make a political gain out of the divisive issue of vacant land.
He said: “You will recall that the Abandoned Property Edit No. 8 of 1969 established the Abandoned Property Custody and Management Authority and charged that authority and the responsibility of managing the property of non-indigene left unattended during the Civil War.
“The constitutionality of that law has been tested in several decisions of our court, including that of the Supreme Court and that law is still a subsisting law, and it has never been invalidated by any judgment of the court.
“It is, therefore, palpably injurious if not completely misleading for anybody to seek to politicize the issue of abandoned property. The matter as far as we’re concerned is closed legally and cannot be revisited.”
The attorney general claims that Amaechi’s harmful political behavior over the problem of vacant land was not done with Rivers State’s best interests in mind.
“And we have to condemn it in its entirety. It is distasteful, It is unbecoming of a leader and every right-thinking member of this society must condemn it“, he added.
Chris Finebone, the state’s information and communications commissioner, said that Amaechi looks to be suffering from selective amnesia.
He pointed out that during his lengthy tenure as Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Amaechi had resolved the abandoned property problem.
He questioned why the same Amaechi would promise to bring up the topic of abandoned land again for purely political reasons, fooling Igbo elders to secure elusive votes for Tonye Cole.
He said: “This is what has appalled people across, not just Rivers State today, but across even Bayelsa. We have received calls from everywhere condemning this kind of rascality, and then it beats the imagination that somebody who probably did not have any grasp on the issue of abandoned property, will simply jump into the political arena and want to harvest from it by offering people what is even beyond him, what he cannot offer, talk less of somebody he is bringing in to offer.
“So, we are condemning this. We are joining other well-meaning Rivers people to condemn this kind of rascality and to warn the former governor (Amaechi) to steer clear from deceiving people. He has no power whatsoever to revisit the issue of abandoned property. That is a matter that touches on the very fabric of everyday Rivers man’s conscience.”