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02.02.2009 Feature Article

Why Amaechi Is Bad

The question in the recent times is how do we remake man? How do we remake the difficult cousin, brother, sister, father, mother, and so on, even political associate? This has made man become the most difficult business to manage on the earth. Man is full of ego and likes genuflecting, especially in the Nigeria's political atmosphere, because every average Nigerian deems politics as the only possible means to quickly get to the pinnacle. And where his aspiration proves difficult to come by, he turns to the business of calumny against the power that be.

Before the 25th of October 2007 the Court ruled in favour of the now Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State ousting his blood cousin Barrister Celestine Ngozichim Omehia, many well-reasoning people in Rivers State truly were in hunger for change and Amaechi was the change they looked for having served a 8-yr of two tenures as Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly under the ex-Governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili: 1999-2007. People saw Amaechi as a man who had the capability of interdicting nepotism, hypocrisy, heresy, anarchy, sycophancy, yesmanism, and all the not-do-wells that had surrounded the Government House, Port Harcourt, from when the state was created as a state in Nigeria – 1967-2007.

One astonishing of all was how a Catholic Church (Night), Sir Odili, earned himself the sobriquet, Governor Noise-maker, like Governor Adams Oshiomhole who becomes a Comrade Governor of Edo State. The noise of Odili's jingles with his name as the lyrics of then deprived the Rivers State of many projects that Odili initiated but they only existed on those jingles and on the pages of newspapers chronicled by the encyclopedia of journalists Odili surrounded himself with, when he was governor.

While Amaechi at last became that change that were hungered for, yet a lot of political demagogues in the state or that has interest in the state but reside outside don't believe that that change they longed for has come, because they are no longer allowed to enrich themselves with public funds; against this backdrop they see Amaechi as a bad man or as a bad governor.

But if being bad is by restricting the few arch-oligarchs who don't mean well for the emancipation of all in Rivers State thereby feeding fat on the state's coffers, then Amaechi should continue to be bad, so that Rivers State could be bereft of wicked people in and around power, who don't want the state to grow, but wanted themselves to be growing with the public funds.

These people who have been calling for Amaechi's head, or are calling him names, because he refused to share the state's money, in earnest are the worst people and the most primordial that had ever lived on this planet earth. They are still seeing or viewing the world from the barometer of self-aggrandizement and shylockick approach, but unfortunately for them they were disappointed to have gotten a governor who is routinely dogged and is ever ready to protect Rivers State than feed the few caterwauls whose kleptomaniac tendencies left Rivers State to remain the same the day it was created as a state in Nigeria. Amaechi is trying to nail corruption on the head in the state.

Notwithstanding, traditionally, in the Nigeria's political court, a leader becomes an enemy immediately he refused to concur with decisions he feels are ruinous to the constitutionality of democracy orchestrated by cabals who parade themselves as democrats, even as social democrats, but the only meaning of democracy they know is how to spell and pronounce the word democracy. And that full meaning of democracy is what Amaechi is trying to lift from the dictionary to the society, so that one-by-one, Rivers people could understand it better than the mere pronunciation of the word democracy and he is called a bad man.

Without amissed as praise-singer of the governor, but if the truth be told, Amaechi is doing everything that is humanly possible to give Rivers State a New Face: where every essential amenity could be available for human comfort.

This decision of trying to better Rivers State , without mincing word, would affect the people who in their natural thinking – albeit schooled – only understand that the word “discipline” exists in the dictionary, but are not disciplined and don't like a disciplinarian and a disciplined governor of Amaechi caliber.

Perhaps, the governor wants to let these undisciplined fellows know that outside the home, there are rules and regulations, by introducing a standard in Rivers State only those who have humanface on how to live in the urban city of Port Harcourt would cherish. And the governor is receiving ovations for this standard he is placing in Rivers State, but those who churlish discipline would always call him names for the rest of their lives, because they are uncouth.

Why are people calling Amaechi names? Is it because he has made it a point of duty that any driver who fails a traffic rule should be taken to the psychiatrist? Or is it because the Rivers Ministry of Urban Development led by the orator, Barrister Osimah Gina, is doing its best to give Rivers State a new look, by the demolition exercise on-going in Port Harcourt, of buildings that were illegally built against the existing Master Plan of Rivers State? Or is it because the state government is in a marriage of harmony with the strongest opposition in Rivers State, the Action Congress (AC) led by the only voice of the downtrodden people of Rivers State, Engineer Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill? Or is it because the state now has an Information Ministry led by the unashamed believer in the truth, High Chief Ogbonna Nwuke? Or what is it?

It has become a serious matter of discourse in many quarters that Nwuke, because of his untainted approach to delivering information concerning the state the way it supposed to be, shouldn't end his political career in the state alone. He is needed at the national level, because Nigeria needs more of the activists than politicians, and Nwuke is fingered as an activist. He may be called a Comrade Commissioner.

However, it is imperative that Amaechi-led government of Rivers State should ENCOURAGE people deemed fit in their respective obligations to making sure that the New Face of Rivers State he has dreamt of was achieved. This ENCOURAGEMENT can never and would never be attributable to the quest of “bring the money let us share” approach he said he is getting the calls from the many buffoons. For example, Amaechi ENCOURAGED a school teacher last year in the state for being outstanding. This can aswell extend to journalists, social and political commentators in the state, so that they don't become like the men on black whose stipend called salary have compelled to forget everything about safeguarding the citizenry, but preferred saving N20 they forcefully collect from motorists to the bank.

Amaechi has the bluntness, and has undoubtedly disorganized group interest in the state. And this single act is the reason why the state would one day got to the pinnacle, on the formative pipeline of the governor. No one believed that Rivers State wouldn't continue to be recycling buffoons till Amaechi mounted the saddle. Under Amaechi have the people of the state seen a governor cautioning the press – precisely the Tide newspapers – to balance their stories about the state instead of the towing the line of becoming the Rivers State praise-singer it were. Unlike under Odili where people like Ogbonna Nwuke, who were bent to telling the government the truth, were characterized as enemy of the government and were severally molested by the State Security Service (SSS) men in Port Harcourt.

And it is a perplexed issue that those calling Amaechi names are saying that the demolition exercise on-going in the state is aimed at cutting down the wings of Ndiigbo in the state. But the question is, how could a man whose name is “Chibuike Amaechi” target the Ndiigbo in the state? What do the names Chibuike and Amaechi mean in Igboland? When shall Nigerians stopped acting on sentiment?

Any how bad people see Amaechi to be, because the government he is the leader is fighting to chastise the former shameful system, one thing remains sacrosanct: Amaechi is a destiny-child. Who was he to wrestle power when civilian-dictator Olusegun Obasanjo and his then roguish PDP had favoured Omehia to be governor of Rivers State? Anyone crying today in Rivers State, because of the reforms in the state should stop crying because, Amaechi is introducing new dimension to the business of government in Rivers State. There is no how the Rivers State would continue to play the already-layed script of kleptomanias and those who want things done their own way. Amaechi should be left alone to work. Let all and sundry allow history to consume him.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Chid Abuse (PACA), Oyibgo, Rivers State. 08032552855. [email protected]

Odimegwu Onwumere
Odimegwu Onwumere, © 2009

This author has authored 586 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: OdimegwuOnwumere

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