The Presidency said Mr. Amaechi was mischievously packaging a personal interest as group interest in his desperate move to justify his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under which he was elected, to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
It also denied robbing Rivers of oil revenue to pay Balyesa, his own state. This was in response to a statement released on Wednesday by Gov Amaechi (http://naijaoutlook.com/2013/11/full-statement-from-gov-ameachi-of-rivers-state-why-i-dumped-pdp/#.UpfhgsRDtmw), where he accused Jonathan of robbing Rivers to pay Bayelsa (Jonathan home state).
Gov. Amaechi described as “a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul,” in a statement, alleging that the Jonathan-led federal government had been paying Bayelsa State the revenues due to Rivers State despite a decision reached that the monies derived from the disputed Soku oil well should remain in an escrow account till all matters were resolved. This he said while giving reasons for his exit from the PDP to the opposition APC among others.
Responding to the allegations, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said Gov. Amaechi was merely pretending to be defending the interest of Rivers people to justify his defection to the APC.
Speaking on the governor’s allegation that Mr Jonathan was paying Bayelsa state revenues derived from the disputed Soku oil wells, Mr. Abati said Gov Amaechi was engaging in blackmail, insisting that the president only acted as a peacemaker in the matter.
“That is a wrong allegation, I am sure he too knows that the matter is between Bayelsa and Rivers and that what the President did was to act as a peacemaker in the matter”. To say that the president favours Baylesa is sheer blackmail. The president is the father of everybody. If he is going to APC that is fine, but for him to package a personal interest as group interest is utterly mischievous”, he said. Mr. Abati added that the matter is now before the National Boundary Commission.
Mr. Abati continued that, the governor was merely exaggerating his importance and pretending to be the messiah of Rivers people, wondering if those celebrating his exit from the ruling PDP were not indigenes of the state.
“Those who danced on the streets of Port Harcourt, carrying placards condemning him, are they not Rivers people? How can he now say he is protecting the interest of Rivers people? He is pretending to be a messiah. To package a personal desire in a messianic way is a show of insincerity.It amounts to exaggerating one’s importance. Why is he bringing this up now? Anyway all I will like to say is that the President is a Rivers man as well as a Bayelsa man and he does not take sides on matters like this”, he said.