The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday rejected an award slated to be bestowed on him by Governor Nyesom Wike, calling it “a poisoned chalice”.
Mr. Amaechi “unequivocally rejected” the award, a statement from his media office said.
Mr. Wike immediately welcomed the rejection, with the Rivers State Commissioner of Information, Austin Tam-George, describing it as “a huge moral relief for the administration, and the people of the state.”
Mr. Amaechi had been listed amongst those to be honoured by Mr. Wike as part of activities marking the 50th Anniversary of Rivers State.
A list of honourees prepared by the jubilee anniversary committee set up by Mr. Wike had Mr. Amaechi’s name at number 18 amongst 29 people to be awarded Grand Service Star of Rivers State.
Former Nigerian leaders Goodluck Jonathan and Yakubu Gowon are also on the list, alongside late activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who would be honoured posthumously.
While echoing his past clashes with Mr. Wike, Mr. Amaechi made it clear in his Friday statement that he would not be part of the programme put together by the governor, who succeeded him in 2015.