The Rivers State Government on Saturday honoured 127 distinguished personalities, including former military and civilian governors of the state, without mentioning the immediate past governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who took time to clarify the absence of Amaechi from the list of awardees, explained that the law establishing the award would be amended to ensure that people of questionable character, no matter their previous positions, did not get honour from the state.
Wike stated that the immediate past governor was indicted by a judicial commission of inquiry into the sale of the state’s assets, hence he (Amaechi) did not merit the award.
The governor explained that Amaechi’s name was merely included in the list because he was a former governor.
“You will agree with me that any person with such antecedents and formal indictments is not and cannot be a fit and proper person to be bestowed with state honours.
“Accordingly, we queried the nomination of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi on that premise but conceded, albeit, reluctantly when we were told that his nomination was fiat accompli under the State Honours Law by virtue of his position as a former governor of the state.
“Now that our unusual magnanimity in the spirit of the Jubilee is unappreciated, we think it is proper to amend the law and safeguard its credibility from being eroded or undermined,” Wike said.
He congratulated the awardees, describing them as heroes, who had inspired generations and urged them to continue to uphold the finest values of hard work, courage, commitment and determination.
“Rivers people are all proud of you. You are our heroes. You have inspired generations and we pray you continue to inspire us by upholding the finest values of hard work, courage, commitment, determination, competitive spirit, love for knowledge and love for your country, your state and the nation,” Wike told the honorees.