The weekend burial of an elder statesman and ex- Minister, late Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, has renewed the hostility between former Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and his successor, Governor Nyesom Wike.

Amaechi stirred up a hornet’s nest during the burial in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state when he lambasted Wike for not giving the late Douglas a state burial.

But Wike on Monday fired back at his main political enemy saying he was playing politics with the burial of Douglas instead of mourning the deceased.

He queried Amaechi’s whereabouts when the man was sick, saying his administration committed over N50m on medical expenses to keep him alive.

Wike said while the government was preoccupied with saving the man’s life, Amaechi was only interested in his death saying the former Transport Minister had a vested interest.

The Governor said Amaechi turned down all the demands Douglas made during his administration but that his current government fulfilled all of them.

Describing Amaechi as a “failure as far as Rivers is concerned”, Wike said his predecessor made promises to other departed elder statesmen on their immortalization when they were alive but that they died without witnessing their actualisation.

Wike said he pulled out of the burial when he discovered that the likes of Amaechi wanted to use it to play politics, adding that he honoured the man when he was alive with the Distinguished Service Star award of Rivers.

The Governor, who spoke while inaugurating a world-class seven-storey office complex built in Port Harcourt by his government, said Amaechi’s poor leadership style was the reason for the mass exodus of prominent politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said: “People like to use the deaths of some prominent people to play politics. If you go for burial and you are going to honour a man that had died, you honour the man and not use the man’s death to play politics.

“I am disappointed that the former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, will still come to this state to talk about this government not giving late Alabo Graham Douglas a state burial. It is unfortunate.

“I asked him when Alabo was sick where were you? This state government committed so much amount of money to make sure Alabo survived. I want to challenge anybody. We didn’t spend less than N50m to make sure our elder statesman survived. It is the survival we want.

“We wanted him to be alive. When his son, the late son, had an accident and was flown to London, this state government took the cost of it. We didn’t need to say all these. They like to eulogise the dead.

“Why will I give him state burial, when I saw you people had brought politics to the man’s burial? I decided to withdraw myself because I didn’t want to be involved in politics. But we spent such an amount of money to save our leader when you could not bring one naira.

“All of you claiming to be Port Harcourt Boys and donating money, why didn’t you donate money to save the man that time? We like to eulogise the dead. We don’t want to eulogise the living. When Alabo was alive, how did you eulogise him? When I came I honoured him and gave him the Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State. He was not dead when I gave him.

“Amaechi when Alabo was alive, he told you to honour him by elevating the stool of Amayanabo of Abonnema. You didn’t do it but I came and elevated the stool to a first-class stool. Amaechi Alabo told you ‘please, help me and do the ring road in Abonnema so that we won’t be having problems of people being trapped on one road’. But he refused to do it. I did it.

“When Alabo was alive, he told Amaechi, please, do the Trans-Kalabari road, but he didn’t do it. I am the one doing it. So, who is the man who loves Alabo? Because the man is dead, you went there. I know why you went there. You have an interest. Everybody knows that you have an interest.

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