Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Rivers State Federal Lawmaker, Ex-Council Boss Fight Over Wike’s Largesse ...As Wike Divides Amaechi’s Camp In Tai, Doles Out Dollars, Contracts

Nyesom Wike Divides Amaechi's camp in Tai, Dolles Out Dollars, Contracts chiomaandy.comBy Friday Agi

The cold war between the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and his former chief of staff and current Minister of State for Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike has dealt a blow to the support and loyalty of party faithfuls in the local government areas of the state. 

The latest casualty is the Tai local government area, as a former local government chairman and incumbent federal lawmaker representing Oyigbo/Tai/Eleme constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Barry Mpigi threw decorum to the winds and freely engaged. Dr. Jacobson Mbina, a one time chairman of Tai local government area and currently a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt, in a physical combat over $10,000 dollars allegedly doled out to them by the honourable minister.

 A competent source said that it all began in February, this year when Hon. Barry Mpigi led a delegation of Tai political top notchers on a solidarity visit to the Minister of State for Education, Barr Nyesom Wike in Abuja.  In the delegation were Chief Monday Ngbor and Dr. Jacobson Mbina, all political heavyweights and professed loyalists of Governor Chibuike Amaechi.

The delegation was warmly received by the minister, as the August visitors pledged the unflinching support of the people of Tai local government and promised to stand by the minister until the political battle with Amaechi is fought and won.  The minister expressed gratitude for the visit and assured the visiting politicians that the political armageddon would end in his favour and he would surely carry the day in 2015, the source added.

The honourable minister gave them a specific instruction to appoint a politician of integrity with high organisational skills as coordinator of the group in Tai local government area.
It gathered that the honourable minister doled out $10,000 to the delegation for their transport fare back to Port Harcourt.

On leaving Abuja, the trio shared the largesse among themselves with the Federal lawmaker who received the money on behalf of others taking $4,000 while the two delegates had $3,000 each.
Checks by Beacon newspaper revealed that few days after their arrival, the delegates quickly converged at a royal father’s Palace, HRH Chief Samuel Nnee to brief their camp on the outcome of the Abuja solidarity visit.

The source also said that after briefing their camp members of the assurances and specific instructions given by the honourable minister of state, it was time to make nominations to fill the new positions created by virtue of being Wike’s supporters.

It gathered that the federal lawmaker fired the first salvo by nominating Dr. Peter Medee, a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt and frontline politician in Tai local government area. Chiefs Jerry Mmeabe and Monday Ngbor jointly nominated Mr. Gana Godam, who is chief Nmeabe’s brother-in-law. 

Our checks revealed that Gana Godam had earlier been introduced to the minister by an Ikwerre friend.  Contrary to expectation, Dr. Jacobson nominated himself for the position of coordinator for the group.  The source hinted that both the federal lawmaker and Jerry Mmeabe shouted him down, accusing him of being selfish and egocentric.  This angered Jacobson as he expressed his disappointment over the level of greed of the federal lawmaker.  He lashed out at Barry, counting his favours from Wike to include two primary school mouth-watering contracts awarded to him under the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).  
One at Marihu, Ndoki in Oyigbo local government area and another at Bunu Tai in Tai local government area, in Rivers State.  In addition, he (federal lawmaker) took $4,000 out of the $10,000 the minister doled out in Abuja.

The Ex-council boss was irked by the federal lawmaker’s determination to appoint his loyalist as coordinator despite all these favours from the minister.  He challenged Barry to mention any leader he has carried along in the contract largesse.

A source told Beacon, that at the mention of the hard currency, the entire house flared up and the meeting was thrown into confusion.  At this point, the Federal lawmaker rained insults on the former council boss. The federal lawmaker recalled that it was only Jacobson who did not condole him over the death of his bother-in-law. The Beacon learnt that Barry Mpigi lost his brother-in-law who was his site manager at the primary school, Ndoki site of his contract.  We gathered that both politicians threw decorum to the winds as they engaged each other in a fisticuffs.

 The situation almost escalated but for the quick intervention of the chairman of Tai local government council, Hon. Gbenekanu Kuapie, who brought the situation under control.
The Beacon also gathered that when at last, calm returned to the house, Barry withdraw his nomination and supported the candidature of Gana Godam.

The meeting unanimously adopted Mr. Gana Godam as the coordinator of Wike’s group in Tai local government area.
Unable to wait for Gana’s acceptance speech, Dr. Jacobson Mbina stood up and pronounced himself coordinator of the new political group. According to him, Gana is a baby politician without experience. He lacks both moral and political clout to lead such a formidable political group.  Therefore he (Jacobson) cannot step down for him.  

The Beacon gathered that the Wike’s camp in Tai local government area now parades two coordinators. Dr. Jacobson has vowed not to back down while the federal lawmaker refuses to accept him as a coordinator.

Though divided, they stand as Wike’s group in Tai local government area of Rivers state. Recently the federal lawmaker held Jacobson by the jagular when he masterminded the removal of Mrs. Jacobson as a supervisor in the Gbenekanu led administration of Tai local government council, our source hinted.

At the time of filling this story, efforts to reach the federal lawmaker on the phone failed as his line could not go through.  Text messages sent to Dr. Jacobson on his Glo line to get his reactions were also not replied.

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