Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday engaged in a verbal fight at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court , Adolphus Karibi -Whyte, in the Abonnema, Akuku – Toru Local Government Area of the state .
Amaechi, who is the Minister of Transportation , while speaking at the funeral service , lamented what he term the rising insecurity and political intimidation in the state , saying the state was back to the time of Ateke Tom , a former militant leader , who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state .
“ You have lost your voice . The sage ( the late justice ) has gone under and nobody is speaking . When I was governor , I gave people voices , but they have blocked those voices .
“Everyone is scared . We are going back to when Ateke held sway . We are going back to the period where we run away from our people . We are back to a period when nobody could speak . But from next year , I will begin to speak , if nobody wants to speak .
“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed . I have stopped travelling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte.
“If you knew Justice ( Karibi -Whyte) very well, you will know I was close to him . I was one of the few people he mentored, ” Amaechi stated .
Wike on his part described the late Karibi -Whyte as an epitome of unshakable integrity , civility and dignity, but noted that comments credited to Amaechi were embarrassing.
Responding to Amaechi, Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff , Chief Emeka Woke , said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state , adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration , the security situation had improved greatly.
Wike said , “It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office .
“ I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi – Whyte, a man he ( Amaechi) claimed to be his mentor .”