Posted by News Express | 10 July 2013 | 5,889 times
Details have emerged about how Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, narrowly escaped death during yesterday’s show of shame at the state House of Assembly.
Amaechi had rushed down to the Assembly Complex with a view to brokering peace after getting a report that the lawmakers had engaged in a physical combat following an attempt by five lawmakers opposed to the governor to forcibly remove the Speaker, Otelemaba Dan-Amachree.
The governor however had a close shave with death when upon sighting him leader of the G5 rebel lawmakers Evans Babakaya Bipialaka, who had been proclaimed Speaker by his four followers, pointed at the governor and shouted instructions to the thugs and policemen allegedly brought to the premises by his group, saying: “Shoot him! . . . Shoot him! . . .”
Amaechi reportedly walked towards Bipialaka, saying: “Shoot me?” He then ordered his security details to arrest Bipialaka, but the order could not be effected due to stiff resistance by the rebel leader’s orderly assisted by thugs and policemen.
Speaking last night on Channels Television, Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, confirmed that “as the governor got there, some people began to shout ‘shoot him’ ‘shoot him’. Semenitari did not mention Bipialaka by name but disclosed that “when somebody tried to rush to attack the governor, people had to protect the governor.”
The commissioner berated the policemen at the Assembly Complex (said to be up to 50, according to some sources) for not protecting Governor Amaechi, saying: “They were standing in the gallery. These were policemen who are paid by tax payers.”
Various accounts of the incident have indicted Bipialaka, a close friend of Nigeria’s First Family with which Amaechi has been enjoying frosty relations, as the architect of the disgraceful drama. Apparently aiming to orchestrate chaos to pave the way for Amachree’s impeachment, Bipialaka, according to witnesses, launched an unprovoked physical attack on House Leader Chidi Lloyd as the lawmakers were exchanging pleasantries preparatory to the commencement of the day’s business. Amachree sought to intervene but was equally attacked by Bipialaka and his supporters. Soon, the House was engulfed in commotion as members fought each other. Amachree and Lloyd were injured and had to seek medical attention.
Amachree was declared impeached in his absence and Bipialaka proclaimed the new Speaker by his four supporters but Amachree and the 22 other loyal lawmakers later returned to continue sitting. Rivers has 33 lawmakers but seven were absent for various reasons. While the majority remain solidly behind Governor Amaechi, the G5 have pitched their tent with Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, who is believed to be fighting Amaechi on behalf President Goodluck Jonathan. The House had been on recess as a result of the crisis but reconvened yesterday to consider an amendment of the 2013 budget proposed by Governor Amaechi.
Dismissing his purported impeachment, Speaker Amachree told newsmen: “Can five members sit to impeach the Speaker? For the House to impeach the speaker, two third of members must agree.”
He declared the House adjourned sine die, adding: “But we can reconvene anytime.”
•Photo shows Governor Amaechi.
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