PDP Leaders Begging Me To Return —Amaechi

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State said yesterday that he is through with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), irrespective of whether the Federal Government returns the state’s oil wells in Kalabari and Etche, ceded to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Imo states, or not.

The governor, who spoke to reporters on the sideline of the inauguration of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital 2014, vowed that he would not succumb to pressure from some PDP leaders to return to the “dead” party.

He did not name the PDP leaders.

The arrowhead of the opposition to the governor and the Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, had claimed recently that Amaechi and his allies were pleading to return to the PDP.

However, the Rivers governor said that Wike does not know what it means to be a minister.

Amaechi said yesterday: “I am not returning to the PDP. That man (Wike), they should check him whether he is okay. I have finished with the PDP. I have told them. I made a promise that if they return the Kalabari oil wells, we will see how it goes, but until that happens.

“Beyond the oil wells, I have told them, they have approached me. If they want, I will call the names of those that approached me, but that is not an issue. There are issues that are fundamentally different. If I am a progressive, it must be seen in the type of life I live, in what I do, how I relate with people and the type of governance.

“I said people should ignore him (Wike). Are you sure that if I tell the PDP that I am coming back in 10 days, they will not send a dance party here? One problem with leadership in Nigeria is that when you are a president, a governor or a minister, what you say must be factual. You cannot be part of gossip.

“So, that young man (Wike), who claims to be Minister of State for Education, who does not know what it means to be a minister, is saying I am begging to come back to the PDP. What is the PDP? I beg you, please, do not ever ask me question about that young man (Wike), because I will not answer you.”

Amaechi also stated that his administration’s initiative had moved from the Garden City Literary Festival to the Port Harcourt Book Festival and also moved on to contemplate establishing a book centre, worth N3.5 billion, not owned by the Rivers State government, but by a non-governmental organisation, the Garden City Literary Association

The NGF chairman stressed that his administration’s efforts in the education sector might be responsible for the nomination of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital 2014.

The Rivers governor said: “The second transformation is, somewhere along line, she (Mrs. Koko Kalango, the Project Director of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014) brought the idea of competing for the World Book Capital and I said, that will not be a bad idea.

“So, we funded her to compete and we won the nomination. It was wonderful that she did that. When she came to me and said we won, I now asked her what the World Book Capital is all about and she explained that it is like the Kane Festival by film makers and that is what it is to book readers.

“We budgeted nearly N4 billion for the World Book Capital. We are building libraries, but I call them reading rooms, in the city. They are about seven and we are having 23 in all the local government areas. We will equip and furnish the libraries.

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