In a telephone interview with Premium Times, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, said Amaechi was merely pretending to be defending the interest of Rivers people to justify his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under which he was elected, to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Special Adviser described Amaechi's allegation that Jonathan was paying Bayelsa state revenues derived from the disputed Soku oil wells, as a "sheer blackmail":
"I am sure he too knows that the matter is between Bayelsa and Rivers and that what the President did was to act as a peacemaker in the matter. "To say that the president favours Baylesa is sheer blackmail."Abati added that the matter was now before the National Boundary Commission (NBC).
He went on saying that Amaechi was exaggerating his own importance:
"How can he now say he is protecting the interest of Rivers people? He is pretending to be a messiah. To package a personal desire in a messianic way is a show of insincerity."He also stated that Jonathan, being the President of Nigeria, cannot and does not take parts: "President is a Rivers man as well as a Bayelsa man."
It will be recalled, that Amaechi, while trying to explain why he joined APC, argued that the Jonathan-led Federal Government had been paying Bayelsa State the revenues due to Rivers State despite a decision reached that the monies derived from the disputed Soku oil well should remain in an escrow account till all matters were resolved.
Earlier this week, November 26, the 'new PDP' announced they joined the APC. While Amaechi and four other governors defected to the opposition party, two governors belonging to the nPDP, Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger), said they were still in the ruling party.