Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi said his party, All Progressives Congress, APC, will get justice and retrieve the River State’s governorship mandate from his successor, Nyesom Wike at the election tribunal.
Amaechi made the remarks at a special thanksgiving service to mark his 50th birthday organised by his friends at Corpus Christi Cathedral in Port Harcourt on Wednesday while responding to an appeal from the Catholic Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Camillus Etukudor to settle the row between him and Wike.
The Catholic Bishop had congratulated the governor- elect, Wike, for his electoral victory and urged both former politicians to settle their differences.
He said: “As for the outgoing governor and the in-coming governor, I urge them to work together so that there will be peace. We need peace in Rivers State.
“There can be no reconciliation without forgiveness. There will be no peace without reconciliation. So, it is time for the out-going governor and the in-coming governor to reconcile so that peace will return to Rivers State.
“No matter their differences they should reconcile in the interest of peace.”
But Amaechi insisted that justice must be seen to have been done before he can think of forgiving and settling with Wike, who was his former Chief of Staff, Government House, from 2007 to 2011.
Wike, who Governor Amaechi recommended for a ministerial appointment was later appointed Minister of State for Education, a position from which he resigned to contest for the governorship of the state.
Amaechi said: “My Lordship talked about forgiveness. In the Catholic Church, you don’t oppose the views of your bishop. His words represent an order. If you oppose him you may be barred from taking Holy Communion.
“You are not a true Catholic if you don’t receive the Holy Communion. But Your Lordship, the same Catholic doctrine also states that justice comes before forgiveness.”
He added: “All those that were killed during the last general elections must get justice. Their families must get justice. Our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, must get justice first at the petition election tribunal. Our mandate must be retrieved at the tribunal.
“I am surprised that My Lordship congratulated Wike here today. I am using this opportunity to call on the Church to join the APC in praying to God so that we can reclaim our mandate. Reclaiming our mandate at the petition election tribunal will represent a measure of justice. We must seek justice before reconciliation.
In attendance at the event were APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State; former governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; former governor of Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada-George; Alabo Graham-Douglas; retired Adolphous Justice Karibi- Whyte, Senator Ararume, among others.