The former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chibudum Nwuche, has alleged that he was denied victory at the 2011 senatorial primaries by the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, due to his (Nwuche’s) insistence on transparent governance in the state.
Speaking on the genesis of his face-off with Ameachi, the former federal lawmaker, said he felt betrayed the manner in which the governor treated him and gave the senatorial ticket to another candidate after all he had sacrificed to enable him become governor.
He said there was an obvious incapacity to honestly and transparently respond to a simple request to credibly account for funds accrued to the state.
On the reason for the sudden crisis that has enveloped the Peoples Democrtic Party (PDP) family in the state, Nwuche said the governor is to blame for fuelling the crisis by his arrogancce and disrespect to other party leaders in the state as well his opposition to the common aspiration of the people to support the Jonathan's Presidency.
While recounting his experience during his outing at the senatorial primaries in 2011, Nwuche re-iterated the fact that he clearly won the PDP primaries and expected to be so declared, but was rigged in favour of the governor's favourite candidate.
"Before I began my contest, I went to my governor and asked him that I want to run for the senate. He asked me if I have the resources to run against an incumbent. I told him that I think I have and proceeded to tell him that all I desire from him was the promise that he will not interfere in the process.
"He gave me his word. I began my campaign across the eight local government areas of Rivers West senatorial district. The belief was that having been out of elective contest since 2003 it will be difficult for me and the fact is that Nigerians don’t forget how you served when you are in office. I went out to the masses, when I spoke to them, I energised the crowd. I didn’t have much money but I had the people.
"The facts are available. Unknown to me, the governor never meant his promise. But I campaigned massively, the people were for me.”
Nwuche said Amaechi spoke him at the venue of the primaries and asked that he should leave the venue and go home, promising that the primaries will be repeated in view of the threatened break-down of law and order.
The former Deputy Speaker said he was surprised that the next day another person was declared the winner of the primaries, adding that it smacks of dishonour and betrayal on the part of the governor.
On the allegation that he could not execute a school project awarded to him, Nwuche said the school renovation project costing N66million was completed and handed over to Amaechi’s government even with the long delays in payment.
He accused the governor of not empowering Rivers people, except his few political fronts.
According to Nwuche rather than give projects to indigenes of the state, the governor prefers to award major projects to people from Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti and other opposition states for obvious political reasons and in order to fund the opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
“These bogus contracts including the over N35 billion so far paid to Deux Project Limited from Lagos, for the new Port Harcourt Stadium are never a subject of public discourse," he said.