He spoke at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt, where Peterside’s campaign organisation, Greater Tomorrow Campaign Organisation (GTCO) held a thanksgiving service to celebrate “God’s faithfulness throughout the electioneering period”.
Amaechi accused Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase of promoting policemen who assisted the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the March 28 and April 11 elections.
Besides Amaechi and Peterside, the well-attended service, also had in attendance the Rivers governor’s wife, Judith; Peterside’s wife, Elima, a lawyer; his running mate, Asita Honourable and his wife, Patricia; as well as the Director-General of GTCO, Chief Victor Tombari Giadom, and other eminent personalities.
Peterside, in company with Asita, during testimony and thanksgiving, gave details of the killings and violence in Rivers State before, during and after the elections.
The APC’s governorship candidate declared that even with the stealing of votes by the leaders of the PDP in Rivers State, they could not write the results for themselves, noting that the challenges would not be greater than God, saying: “I am 100 per cent certain that we will come out victorious.”
The General Overseer of Gateway International Church, Port Harcourt, Rev. George Izunwa, who preached on the occasion, said before the end of this year, Peterside and his friends would gather for another thanksgiving service for victory.
Amaechi said: “God will bless all of you, for standing by us. On May 27, I will be 50. I never believed that I would be 50. Having got to 50, I must thank God.
“There is a man called John Amadi, the then Deputy Commissioner of Police (in Rivers State, during the 2015 general elections), who sat down and wrote a programme that embarrassed the APC and the incoming Federal Government, even after Gen. Buhari had won the presidential election.
“To embarrass us further, I hear he has been promoted to Commissioner of Police and transferred out of Port Harcourt. He will come back. The only way he will not come back is if we do not form government, but if we form government, he will account for his actions.
“An Assistant Commissioner of Police in Khana LGA (of Rivers State) said it was mutiny to take on the Federal Government. He sat down and fought APC, as if he was a PDP member. I do not know whether he has been promoted or not, but if he has been promoted and sent away, he will also come back. That one does not require a judge. IGP (Solomon Arase) can promote them as much as he wants. He can promote them to Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), but they must all account for their actions.
“John Amadi intended to kill me. On my way to my village (Ubima in Ikwerre LGA) to go and vote, I ran into some criminals, who were attacking an APC member and I stopped with the intention to rescue the gentleman and arrest the people, as the governor. I did not know that they had given instruction to my own security men not to obey me. So, when I told the policemen to arrest them, they were just standing. On further inquiry, I was told that they were told not to go near where they were voting. When I asked the C for I (special police security team) to reinforce and they brought security, John Amadi called them back and asked them to leave there.
“The only thing that saved me and saved the situation was that the Brigade Commander (Brig. Gen. Koko Essien of 2 Brigade, Bori Camp, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt) sent in soldiers and the soldiers chased the people away. The people were speaking my language (Ikwerre) and saying somebody will die here now. Who was the somebody, other than me? My police and SSS (State Security Service) men were watching and my life was at risk. I am supposed to be the governor of Rivers State, the so-called Chief Security Officer.”
Amaechi expressed surprise at his discoveries in Port Harcourt and other parts of Rivers State before the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The Rivers governor said: “Nyesom Wike (Rivers’ governor-elect) said I came to the front of his house. I was driving. I had been called that night that they changed the result sheets at Rumueme. I drove down to the place, called the Commissioner of Police (Hosea Karma) to meet me there. Before he could come, I asked him how far he was. Imagine Hosea Karma, that served all his life in Rivers State, telling me he could not find his way to Rumueme at 3 a.m. I told him that while he was looking for his way to Rumueme, I was driving to Rumuokwuta (Port Harcourt) and saw over 70 policemen on the road and they stopped me in front of Nyesom Wike’s father’s house. I asked what they were doing there, they said they were there with DCP John Amadi, right inside the house and I called the Commissioner of Police that I was waiting for him in front of Nyesom Wike’s father’s house, for him to come and bring out John Amadi from the house. It took Karma over 30 minutes to meet me there.
“By the time he (Karma) came, the policemen had all run away and very few were in front of the house about 3 a.m. John Amadi and others were planning what they would do the next day. When we got inside, one of the persons said he was an INEC officer. Agents of all other political parties were not present. I left. The next morning, before I came, they had given all the result sheets to PDP. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Kala Police Station, an Akwa Ibom woman, joined in the rigging. Write down the names of all the DPOs in your area, they will account for it. The only way the system can be corrected is for the police commission to discipline those who have broken the law. They must account for their actions.
“If an ordinary DCP (John Amadi) could do what he did in Rivers State and he is promoted to CP, the IGP is daring the new Federal Government.
“OC MOPOL arrested people who were thumb-printing near Nyesom Wike’s house. On his way to the police station, John Amadi drove and stopeed him on the way, took the people and took the result sheets straight to INEC’s office. Get ready with your petitions. When the new government comes, send your petitions to them to investigate, because this nonsense cannot continue. Nobody has the right to do what they did. Here (in Rivers State), we were fighting with INEC, police, the Nigerian Army and the militants.
“The President-elect is a man of rule of law. He will not punish anybody without due process. Act officially as a party and as individuals, for proper investigations of what happened in Rivers State. Let us ask the incoming Federal Government to properly investigate what happened in Rivers State.
“There is a Colonel in Degema-Kalabari (headquarters of Degema LGA of Rivers State). He covered Degema and Abonnema (headquarters of Akuku-Toru LGA of Rivers State). His name is Adimorah or something like that. I hear he has been transferred to Lagos. We shall also demand his investigation by the Nigerian Army, because what they did to us was to participate in the elections, as if we were members of PDP and our crime was challenging PDP.”
Amaechi urged the APC supporters not to relent in their determination to ensure justice.
The Rivers governor said: “We are in court. If you know my history, you will know that this is not the first time that this thing has happened. When I was to be Speaker (of the Rivers State House of Assembly in 1999), a similar thing happened. We prayed and fasted and we asked God to make me Speaker and I became Speaker. You remember how I became governor. Similar thing happened. We prayed and fasted and God made me governor. This is another trial time. You have the choice to pray or not to pray. This is the time to call God. Without God, we are going nowhere.
“When I said I fasted for ten months (in 2007), people do not believe it. Peterside is even lucky that if he is going to fast, he is going to fast here (in Rivers State). I was chased out of Nigeria. It was also good for me, because it gave me enough time to pray and fast. If you are in Nigeria, you will have distractions. A lot of distractions from your wife, children, friends and church. When I was in Ghana, my wife and children were not there. It was lonely, but it gave me time to pray to God and God answered our prayers. I will join in the fasting, but I am not the candidate.
“God answered our prayers that Gen. Buhari is the President-elect of Nigeria. Imagine if Gen. Buhari did not win. They were already preparing to send us away. They had left instructions at the airports not to let me travel, hoping that we would lose the presidential election. They had seized my red passport, which they gave to me only two weeks ago, signed on April 28. They did not know we would win the election. God answered our prayers to save us and save Nigeria. I am not joking, we have no money anywhere.