The last has not been heard of how Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State sailed through the tidal political waters in the state in 2006, to win the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) ticket for the 2007 gubernatorial race. In this exclusive interview, Chief Christie Oby Ndukwe, a Publisher, Media Consultant and an Evangelist bares it all to Odimegwu Onwumere, saying that the junior Minister of Education, Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike was building castle around the foundation she built in making Amaechi governor. She said that Wike wasn't sincere with the truth. "Could Wike alone have installed Amaechi as governor in 2007 if I had not helped Amaechi through our publication in The Beam, would he have gotten the PDP ticket in the first instance?”  She asked, and said that it was the publication that made Odili pulled the rug off Austin Opara's feet, as the Secondus-led Party exco had already perfected plots to fix Amaechi out, before her publication struck. She also said that Wike was only building on the foundation they at The Beam laid. Even at that, Wike didn't fight alone. They were all in it together. Have a good read:

Que: MADAM, MAY WE KNOW YOU?

Ans: I’m Christie Oby Ndukwe, a Publisher, Media Consultant and an Evangelist.

Que: HOPE YOU ARE UP-TO-DATE WITH INFO ABOUT THE POLITICAL IMBROGLIO IN RIVERS STATE?

Ans: I am very much aware of the ramblings in the political circle of Rivers State. It’s nothing new.

Que: WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON GOV. AMAECHI AND BARR WIKE TUSSLE?

Ans: My take on the Amaechi and Wike issue....Well, what is happening is long overdue. For me, I saw it coming as far back as 2008, when I warned then that the greatest enemy Amaechi would have is Wike, who was his Chief of Staff.

Wike, while there was disillusioned with Amaechi's style of governance, where everyone had a direct access to him, which was far beyond Wike's expectation, where he wanted to become an emperor. But the way they ran the government is not my headache here; rather, I want to set the records straight on how Amaechi emerged governor through the Supreme Court.

It’s madness for anyone to claim to have single-handedly installed Amaechi as governor in 2007. While I do not also believe that God works through a vacuum to make someone governor. There must be human agents, of which, Wike was one, including my humble self, as well as other members of the Believers' Team. Even those who denied him the flag, were also used by God, just like Pharaoh.

Que: SO, HOW DID AMAECHI BECOME GOVERNOR?

Ans: I could tell you how Amaechi got the ticket of the PDP during the primary election. Wike believes he played that role, while the case lasted in Court for ten months. But the judgment of the Supreme Court was based on the fact that Amaechi had participated in the primaries and won overwhelmingly, whereas Sir Celestine Omehia never participated nor won. And that was not in conformity with the dictates of the law, as stipulated in the Electoral Act 2006.

So, if Amaechi did not get the ticket, as was hatched by the Uche Secondus-led Party Exco, then on what foundation would Wike have stood to fight in Court, to ensure that Amaechi got justice? Listen, nobody can re-write history and claim to be the miracle worker, when some of us were part of that great history. This is a moment of truth. People should learn to humble themselves so that God will exalt them. All you see happening is borne out of pride.

Que: WHEN YOU SAID THAT PEOPLE SHOULD HUMBLE THEMSELVES, DO YOU MEAN THAT GOV. AMAECHI OR WIKE IS NOT HUMBLE, OR DO YOU MEAN BOTH OF THEM?

Ans: Humility is the hallmark of our existence on earth. When a man decides to take the place of God: that leaves us with something to worry about. So, if God uses you to help someone to power, then you shouldn’t usurp the person's powers or want to be awarded all the contracts in every Ministry.

There is no way Wike can tell us that he was not adequately compensated by the governor. The only thing I know that the governor may have gotten wrong was that he brought in people, who were not part of the struggle and, gave them huge contracts and juicy appointments. That, of course, did not go down well with Wike and, others, who led the struggle.

But, people must be content with what they have. All the bragging about pulling down Amaechi is just drama. Wike is not the only one who helped Amaechi to become governor and, if he leaves, others are still there. Nobody is indispensable. Not even myself, who also played a major role. I am not going to pull down a house I built just because we have differences that can be reconciled. There is a different motive behind what you are seeing. Unfortunately, Amaechi is not the type that chickens out from fights easily and, that got him the name, 'NINJA'.

Que: AGAIN, IN WHAT WAY DID YOU ASSIST IN SEEING THAT AMAECHI BECOMES GOVERNOR?

Ans: How I helped Amaechi would be a long story. But I’m going to take it from the point, where, everyone was waiting for then Gov. Odili to decide on who would succeed him. There was so much tension everywhere. Amaechi, being the Speaker and the political son of Odili, was expected to have a smooth sail to the exalted seat, but things changed suddenly. He was fast losing grip of some local governments, where he had earlier controlled 18 out of 23.

But there was a reason for that. Most other members of the caucus had ganged up against Amaechi, with the support of the Odili's wife. Incidentally, Odili didn't know what was going on. The anti-Amaechi group preferred and drafted Austin Opara into the race. They had perfected plots to manipulate the delegates’ list, for the primary election. All these were not known by Amaechi and Odili. So, we exposed it through our newspaper, The Beam.

One of the aspirants, who was close to them, revealed the information to me. As God would have it, the Wednesday before the Saturday primary election, Amaechi called me to help him talk to Madam, since I was close to her. I felt it was not my responsibility to do so, since I was too ‘small’ to discuss that issue with her.

But at the same time, I was worried that Amaechi may have lost hope, having exploited all avenues to appease Madam. While I was contemplating what to do, God gave me an idea. God told me to do a publication, exposing the plot against Amaechi, and those behind it. It was a difficult thing for me, but I had to obey God, rather than man.

We published the story, Friday preceding the Saturday primary election. We managed to get it to Gov. Odili and it was his cousin, Ofili, who played a crucial role in making sure the governor saw the newspaper.

It was after, that Odili called for a caucus meeting and, ordered Opara to step down for Amaechi. The reason was because of the exposition we made, unknown to them. So, there was celebration everywhere, as all those, who would have been used the next day, as delegates in favour of Austin, backed out.

The truth is that the delegates’ list they planned to use, was fake. All those who supported Amaechi, their names were deleted and replaced. And it would have been very late on the day of election to change it. That, also, would have hit Amaechi below the belt. Odili would have been disappointed.

Later, Amaechi and the rest members of his kitchen cabinet thanked us, myself and Ofili, for the crucial role we played.

Que: AND YOU WERE NOT AFRAID OF ANY ATTACK WHILE DOING THIS?

Ans: Except my God says my time is up, no one can take my life if that was what you mean. A human being like me cannot take my life!

It was yet another phase of the struggle to get Obasanjo to accept Amaechi, because, by that time, 0BJ had parted ways with Odili and did not want to take any candidate endorsed by Odili. They used the EFCC now to try and stop Amaechi.

We, again, swung into action, using the media to correct the negative reports against him. This continued until his ticket was given to Omehia, and the battles shifted to the courts in Abuja. We relocated to Abuja, but my newspaper remained in Port Harcourt. At some point, 80 per cent of the journalists became more interested in Omehia, who was now enjoying Odili's support. It was not an easy battle, I must confess.

Que: YOU TALKED ABOUT "BELIEVERS TEAM"; WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Ans: The Believers' Team was a group of Amaechi Supporters, who believed in the struggle in spite of the stiff challenges they were facing. The supposed arrowhead of the Amaechi group, popularly known as The Believers, was Wike. He was seen to be the most visible, having the financial muscle to also fight. He also took directives from Amaechi, who had relocated to Ghana for safety sake, as well as running from Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who wanted to use him as a prosecution witness against Odili.

So, Wike became de facto leader of the group, which included most of the House of Assembly members, some serving Local Government Chairmen and some others. But he was not alone, because some of the people, who were sympathetic to Amaechi's cause, were also contributing money through him. More so, being a lawyer, he knew Amaechi had a good case and would possibly win.

Of course, it was an investment worth making, knowing it would favour him in the long run. You may say it was risky, that's true. But for every business, there is a risk to be taken. And I can bet you, the odds favoured him. He was not only Chief of Staff, he had a lot of contracts awarded to him, which he in turn, used to help his supporters in Obio/Akpor and beyond. He wanted to go to NDDC, but Amaechi was opposed to it, because in the principle of zoning, both of them come from the same ethnic group, Ikwerre, and from the same senatorial constituency.

Wike, again, wanted his wife appointed a Judge in the first set of Judges appointed by Amaechi. Again, that would have disenfranchised the Kalabaris, so he was asked to wait. He became angry the more. Amaechi still went ahead to appoint her as a Judge. Again, he wanted to go to the Senate and Amaechi wanted to give the First Lady some concession by allowing George Sekibo, her kinsman, to run. That, again, didn't go down well with Wike. Then, the Ministerial slot.

Wike was nominated by Gov. Amaechi and, after several arguments, due to the case that Wike had with the EFCC, he was then appointed. Recall that he had mobilized a protest against EFCC officials in Port Harcourt to stop them from arresting him and some other government officials. The President had that security report and, so, he did not want him in his cabinet.

Que: YOU MEAN THAT WIKE WAS AN EMPEROR WHEN HE SERVED AMAECHI AS CHIEF OF STAFF?

Ans: As Chief of Staff, Wike was everywhere. Even though the position is not constitutional, it was meant to be the power house of the government. All appointees, including members of the exco, must pass through him to access the governor. He believed he played the most important role during the battle to reclaim the mandate, so every other person must queue behind him. He wanted to be the emperor, but the governor was too strong to be manipulated. So, everything went haywire and the stage was now set for what you are seeing.

Que: YOU TALKED THAT YOU HELPED AMAECHI, SO WHERE WERE YOU CLOSE TO EIGHT OF HIS ADMINISTRATION, AND WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO TALK NOW?

Ans: Yes! Helping Amaechi does not mean that I must be part of his government. You can function from anywhere. Everyone must not be appointed. That's why I say people should learn to be content with what they have. If the governor feels that it's wise to bring on board those who opposed him fiercely, there is no problem with that. He is the boss.

What people like Wike and his cohorts failed to understand was that while Amaechi was on exile in Ghana, we, his foot soldiers, were in charge and we called the shots. But the moment he became governor, everyone must step aside for him to take charge. I give you an instance. When we were fighting, there were times that I personally took certain decisions to publish the truth on who was the unseen hand behind his travails.

I did not let him know, because he would not let me do that. Amaechi has a way of not wanting you to attack his opponents. The fact remains that some of us still believe that they are in charge and should decide for the governor any time he wants to take certain decisions. Even if the governor makes mistakes, he is responsible for such.

You asked why I have chosen to talk now after a long time. Correct.  The reason is that prior now, there was no problem. But, now, it looks like people want to distort the truth in order to show their significance and political prowess. I still insist that a tree cannot make a forest. Not even the legal luminaries, who defended Amaechi in court, can claim to have done it alone.

I remember an incident at the Supreme Court, where the SAN, Fagbemi filed a wrong application and the matter was almost struck out. When he eventually sought to withdraw the application, which had drawn the irk of the panel, he was asked if he could serve Omehia through substituted means by way of publication in either Punch or Guardian within 24 hours. He accepted.

But I knew that it won't be possible considering the time factor, the volume of the material, which was 64 pages. The funds involved were not even available, because we were broke. And with my experience in the Media, I almost committed contempt of Court, when I shouted to alert the counsel, and gave him a sign to ask for two days, to enable us meet up. So, the Court obliged us. I then left for Lagos to run the publication.

In terms of provision of funds, Amaechi had goodwill from a lot of people, who also contributed so much. People like Chief Victor Odili came at a crucial time and helped out in a big way; yet, he did not seek to control the governor nor hijack contracts and appointments. For people like Wike, it is an investment that must produce abundant and ceaseless fruits.

So, now his expectations are not met, it is fight to finish. And it is unfortunate that they did not heed to my warnings. All those who are around the governor don't seem to understand him and the way things are done. For instance, the COS is supposed to be the one to clean up any mess of the governor. Wike was good in such assignments, but as long as it is monetary.

While the governor is busy with governance, the COS should be playing the game for him. But we didn't see all that until now that the fight has become messy. So, Amaechi is left to govern the state and at the same time, fight his political battles, which I can tell you are not new to him. He has a way of getting out from behind to emerge victorious.

Que: DOES IT MEAN THAT YOU ARE ALSO 'ANGRY' THAT AMAECHI BROUGHT IN PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT PART OF THE STRUGGLE?

Ans: As a person, I can never be jealous of another person’s progress. I was at some point angry that some of those, who were brought in, were not part of the struggle, especially those who took it upon themselves to discredit him from becoming governor, while some of them came without understanding the mission. Amaechi's coming to power, was divinely orchestrated. So, it was necessary to ensure that those who were really passionate about his cause would stand with him. Some say it was done in the spirit of reconciliation and, I agree with them. But what is the case now? How many of them are ready to come out and defend him? It’s just a handful of them. People like SenatorMagnus Abe and Chief Andrew Uchendu.

A lot of mistakes were made in terms of these appointments, but the truth remains that those fighting him are not doing so for lack of performance, but for the sake of 2015. It is the ambition to become and make more money that is driving them into this madness.

If I were those in power, I will ask myself some fundamental questions like: "if a man can fight his friend, brother and boss today, then, what will that same man do to me, when he becomes my friend and his expectations are not met?" They should be careful, so that by tomorrow, the hunter does not become the hunted.

Que: HOW WERE THOSE INVOLVED IN THE STRUGGLE REWARDED?

Ans: As for those who were part of the struggle, everyone was adequately rewarded. Some were awarded contracts; some had appointments, while some were elected as Local Government Chairmen and Lawmakers.

The problem is that a lot of people are insatiable, which economists tell us is the nature of man. Some who became Local Government Chairmen, for instance, wanted more. They claimed to have done so much and were given too little. Apparently, they did not know that things would change from the way it was done in the past. No money to steal from the Councils. They began to envy some of the Commissioners and those who benefited through contracts.

But I challenge anyone who claims to have been part of the struggle and says he has not benefited from the governor. I know every one of the ‘Believers Team’. Some were not even sure and had one leg in, one leg out. Some were even playing double standards, partly in Omehia's camp and partly in Amaechi's camp at the same time; yet, the man came back and carried all of them along.

I’m not trying to hold brief for the governor, but am trying to set the records straight. It's sad when people tell lies in order to suit their whims and caprices. I can tell you that none of these people can do what Odili and Amaechi have done for their supporters. Forget what you are reading today. They all believe that no one can come out to speak up, so they have now become the voices of dissent singing discordant tunes now. Yesterday, they ‘believed’. But today, they don't ‘believe’ anymore. Very inconsistent people. Is that the character of the people, who will deliver the South-South for Jonathan? Let's wait and see.

Que: MADAM YOU SOUND VERY INTERESTING AND LIKE A PERSON WHO KNOWS THE POLITICS OF THE STATE AS FAR BACK AS THREE DECADES AGO. BECAUSE OF SPACE WE WOULD HAVE CONTINUED. BUT IN YOUR CALCULATION, WHAT ADVISE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE STATE, POLITICIANS INCLUDING GOVERNOR AMAECHI AND WIKE? WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT HAS NOT BEEN GOTTEN RIGHT AND WHAT HAS BEEN GOTTEN WRONG? CAN YOU BARE YOUR MIND IN THIS CONCLUDING PART OF THE INTERVIEW?

Ans: My candid advise to both men is to sheath their swords in the interest of the people of the state. Though, you can disagree to agree; but you must not fight dirty. If Gov.Amaechi can remember why people were prepared to die for him to reclaim his mandate and, do those things, which endeared him to the people, it will help him a lot to weather the storm.

Honestly, power has a way of changing people. Amaechi used to be a listening Speaker, and he could talk to anyone freely. But upon his assumption as governor, everything changed. If not, some of those, who are jumping ship, would have been able to discuss with him and even update him with relevant information. But some left to follow Wike, out of frustration. A leopard does not change its spots. So, please, let Amaechi go back to his ways of doing things.

Also, he must not allow himself to be used by the North against his own kinsman, no matter the differences. The same North who abandoned Odili in 2007 will do the same thing again. They are only interested in looking for a spoiler. I bet you; whatever ambition he has, according to the will of God, will be achieved. It’s not by struggle. Amaechi is equally a good material, but it must be according to the set time and procedure of God. The President and Amaechi, both need each other, for any of them to actualise his dreams in 2015, if that is the bone of contention.

As for Wike, he must let his zeal be rooted in knowledge. It’s too early to start beating the drums of war. If the elders in PDP succeed in reconciling the two men, the President and Gov. Amaechi, which I perceive will happen soon, then, he will become the greatest loser. Those teaming up with him now need every penny they are getting from him, since there is a roadblock to Amaechi's pocket. So, they are ready to flow with the Minister, who seems to have the funds at his disposal, to recruit people in his structure.

Is any of those names ready to sponsor the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), their numerous outings and their media fireworks? No. It’s all coming from the pocket of one man. Not even the numerous beneficiaries of contracts from the Ministry of Education will spend a dime on this madness.

I want to end this interview by defining a friend. According to the Webster Dictionary: A friend is someone whom you know and you love. The love does not depend on whether the person changes or not. You keep loving the person, even when his character falls short of your expectations. You correct him in love and, not to discredit or abandon him.

A word is a enough for the wise. Thank You.