Jonathan, Amaechi in secret reconciliatory meeting

Speculation about an imminent reconciliation between President Goodluck Jonathan and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi became rife in Port Harcourt yesterday, as the two moved to an unknown destination for hours for a secret meeting and resurfaced later.
President Jonathan and Amaechi also flew in the same helicopter to Okrika town, ahead of today’s burial of Madam Charity Fyneface Oba, the foster mother of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The President’s aircraft touched down at the airport at about 1:30p.m.after which he immediately joined Amaechi and Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson in the helicopter that flew them to Okrika.

This unexpected development sparked off speculations of a possible peace rapprochement between them.
Amaechi, who arrived the Port Harcourt International Airport, earlier in the day, had waited for the arrival of the President along with Dickson.
It was learnt that the President, Amaechi, and Dickson shielded other officials waiting to receive the President and flew from the airport to Okrika town.

The supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, with his political group, Grassroots Democratic Movement, GDI; the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Tele Ikuru and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state were also waiting for the arrival of the President.

More than two hours after leaving Port Harcourt, their location could not be ascertained, a situation which gave rise to speculations of a secret meeting between the President and Amaechi for a peace parley, with the Bayelsa State governor present.
Our correspondent, however, could not confirmedwhether the duo actually met, even as Rivers State Government House sources claimed ignorance.
“Only Governor Dickson, who is the chairman of the PDP reconciliation committee, who was in the chopper with them could make any comment on this,” the source said.

Another source said: “Nobody can really say what the mood was, but one thing is certain, they were in the same aircraft for a period of time and it is possible that they might drive in the same car when they get to Okrika.
“What we all expect is that this provides them with a very good opportunity to discuss on the possible way forward and it will be everybody’s delight to see that this is settled once and for all.”

However, the burial of Madam Oba, yesterday threw the moody atmosphere of Port Harcourt into a carnival as groups and communities from the two Okrika-speaking council areas and a section of the city took to the streets.
The city was also shut down as police and other security operatives took over some parts of the state capital ahead of the burial.
At the Kpama mortuary at Elechi Beach, Mile One area of Port Harcourt, where the remains of Madam Oba had been deposited for the past two months, policemen cordoned off the entire area.

Heavy security presence was also noticed in and around Okrika town as hundreds of soldiers, policemen, operatives of the Department of the State Security Service, DSS, the Civil Defence Corps and Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, took over the town, especially the personal residence of the First Lady and the home of the deceased.
Aside those keeping watch on Okrika mainland, there were several naval boats stationed at the Okrika jetty, while about five were patrolling the waterways in the coastal area.

There were also military helicopters patrolling the area, just as there was an aerial camera bearing balloon, overlooking the perimeters of the area where the events will take place.

Also, heavily armed soldiers deployed across the town were seen, mounting check-points at different spots. Military presence was heavier around the residence of the First Lady, close to the waterway, which was already surrounded with naval gunboats.

National mirror

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