Transport minister and two-term governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi was in London to deliver a speech on 23 January at Chatham House on “Nigeria’s role in responding to maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea”. He brought with him his “boy” Dakuku Peterside, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Amaechi allegedly gave Peterside the job in 2016 after the latter failed in his bid to replace Amaechi as governor of Rivers State. The lucrative agency was partly compensation for that loss and partly to be looted for the funds for another bid at the state governorship.
Amaechi’s insistence on choosing the next governor has put him at odds with Senator Magnus Abe, who has hopes of winning the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to run against incumbent Nyesom Wike. Abe recently criticised Amaechi and has ganged up with Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Amaechi. Abe also knows that the minister has the state’s branch of the APC “in his pocket”, so the senator has no chance of beating Peterside to the governorship nomination.
A source has told Naijiant.com that Abe is planning to return to the PDP on the condition that Wike agrees for the senator to replace him after his second term.
Meanwhile, another source has claimed that the Chatham House gathering was a cover for putting the finishing touches to Peterside’s campaign plans. Several of the Rivers State APC bosses were present at the event.
The state, also known as “Rivers of Blood” has seen a spike in “cult” violence in recent weeks. It is widely-believed that this is related to the battle for the governorship in 2019. Our source said Amaechi was “very determined” to wrest the state from Wike.