A bloody clash was recorded on Saturday recorded in Port Harcourt, Rivers State between the security convoys of Governor Nyesom Wike and that of the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.
While Wike claimed that he was nearly assassinated by Amaechi’s security details, the latter claimed he narrowly escaped being shot by the governor’s security officials.
Security officials of Governor Wike, it was learnt, allegedly attacked the convoy of the Transportation Minister.
Amaechi’s escort details were, however, unlucky during the 3 p.m. attack, as one of them, Sergeant Eteng Ewelu was battered, with blood on his face, while the AK-47 rifle of Sergeant Princewill Ubaji was snatched while being forcibly disarmed.
Wike, through his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, in his reaction, however, claimed that personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) and soldiers attached to the Minister of Transportation attacked his convoy, while allegedly attempting to assassinate him.
Report of the sad incident was immediately lodged at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Rivers Police Command, headed by Zaki Ahmed, while Ubaji’s rifle had not been recovered, with Ewelu and other injured policemen still receiving treatment in undisclosed hospitals in Port Harcourt,The Nation reports.
When contacted for his reaction through the telephone yesterday evening, the Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), stated that he would find out the details.
Nwakaudu in his statement said: “Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Saturday escaped assassination, as Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in the motorcade of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, attacked his convoy,” said Nwakaudu.
“The governor, who was on project inspection, was attacked at Nwanja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road. The SARs personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy hit down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car. Mr. Debewari, Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the minister of transportation, supervised the attack, which included damage of cameras held by journalists.”
“Also part of the attack was the Commander of F-SARS in Rivers State, Mr. Akin Fakorede (a Chief Superintendent of Police), who received the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied on his trip.”
“After the attack, the Rivers State governor continued with his inspection of projects. Governor Wike was not harmed, despite the attack. The minister of transportation had over 50 personnel of F-SARS, soldiers and mobile policemen in his motorcade.”
Amaechi in his own statement alleged that “gun-totting security men attached to Wike’s convoy” surrounded his car, threatening to shoot him.
He said although he “eventually passed through” unhurt, his car was “vandalised with a broken side mirror”.
A statement issued by his media office read: “Accompanied by cars of many of his supporters, the minister’s black jeep was intercepted and blocked at the junction by the security motorcycle outrider attached to Wike after two cars had passed through.
“One of the two cars had security men assigned to protect the minister in Port Harcourt. Suddenly, gun-toting security men attached to Wike’s convoy, surrounded the minister’s car, threatening to shoot him.
“They hit the car, tried to smash the windscreens, back and side windows and broke a side mirror. All through this attack, Amaechi remained calm, inside the fortified Jeep. While the attack occurred, Wike remained inside his vehicle.
“The minister eventually passed through after the intervention of the security team on ground to protect him in Port Harcourt.
“However, when governor Wike got to the point where the incident occurred after Amaechi’s vehicle had gone by, his security men blocked the road again, dragged out from a vehicle and thoroughly beat up a policeman attached to protect Amaechi in Port Harcourt. The policeman’s rifle was also taken from him.”