The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who was held hostage by security agents in Odudu, Ondo State, in an exclusinve interview with Channels Television, has blamed the presidency for his ordeal in the hands of security operatives.
The governor said “we landed in Akure airport and in between the boundary of Ekiti and Ondo, we were stopped by about 15 soldiers”, insisting that “the instruction was from the Presidency.”
He claimed that the Presidency gave strict orders “that Amaechi should not be let in” adding that “when I decided to drive back to Akure, I was stopped in a village called Olorunshogo and when I stopped there, they insisted that they gave me 20 minutes after which I must leave there if not they would attack me.”
“When I got to the (Akure) airport, the plane that brought me had been impounded,” he said, wondering why “the military will close the airport and why will the military be harassing an elected governor.”
“Why will the military stop the governor of Adamawa from flying, why will they stop the governor of Kano from landing and why will they stop the governor of Edo from taking off,” he quipped via a telephone interview.
The Governor was said to have left Port Harcourt on Thursday morning for Ekiti to join the APC rally before the governorship elections, scheduled to hold on Saturday.
The National Publicity Secretary APC, Lai Mohammed, in a statement claimed Mr. Kwankwaso and two other APC governors, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, were barred from getting to Ekiti to support Governor Kayode Fayemi’s re-election bid.
“At least three Governors – Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano – have so far been prevented from making the trip,” Mr. Mohammed said.
The spokesperson added that “the helicopter that was to ferry Governor Oshiomhole from Benin to Ado-Ekiti was refused permission to take off from the Benin Airport, while the plane that was flying Gov. Kwankwanso to Akure was denied permission to land.”
Ekiti has no airport and so travellers by air have to first land at Akure (neighboring Ondo State) airport, then travel by road to Ekiti.