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20.03.2009 Feature Article

Before Amaechi Sacks His Cabinet

This piece was not intended to aggrieve any person, though it might be appalling to the many fanatics against non-indigenes in Rivers State not only for their intellectual shortcomings but also for the sickening misrepresentation and mismanagement they display against the so-called non-indigenes without compunction.

In every state in Nigeria, the so-called non-indigenes in that state (due to this gross misrepresentation the indigenes display against the so-called non-indigenes without repentance) but who are nationalities of Nigeria, get a person from their different states to crown their leader in the state they reside. They do this so that the person could be their mouthpiece and spearhead their affairs in one accord. They do this so that they could be protected in the hand of their hosts. In a place like the North, Ndiigbo have elected-Royal Highnesses to spearhead their affairs, especially.

Prior to revealing my point of view, I have my corollary on the subject of our political leaders, their actions and sometimes their motivations. The former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Sir Peter Odili indigenized Rivers State that before any non-indigene got a job from any company operating in the State he or she must pass through the eye of the needle of the host community. Things were not like that before he assumed office; things were done on competence.

Though many people might say that the man did what is best for the Rivers people. And no one has the right to reprimand the man for attempting to look out for his people? Does this writer want an Igbo commissioner in River State because under the ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo-led government of 1999-2007, for example, Lagos State under Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu appointed a non-indigene in Lagos State to head a ministry? Likewise a governor did in the North?

Please is commissionership not a privilege accorded those who have been tested and have something to offer the society irrespective of the state of origin? Is it a matter of Igbo man or non-Igbo man in Rivers State? Would this be done by Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State or should this writer stay away from such advocacy if he wishes to change the dynamics or the current state of affairs between Rivers state and the non-indigenes? Did the Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress (AC), the strongest opposition party in Rivers State led by Prince Tonye TJT Princewill not recently called on Governor Amaechi to immediately sack his cabinet with an observation to injecting fresh blood into his supervision?

According to the party, ''some of those in Amaechi's cabinet are spent forces. They have run out of ideas on how to lift the state to an enviable height'' Did the spokesman of the party, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, not said ''we of the AC are of the view that Governor Amaechi's cabinet is over due for a shake-up. Sacking the cabinet has become very imperative in order to enable the governor inject fresh blood that will speed up his vision of taking Rivers to the next level?”

Did Chief Eze not also said “On our part as the governor's partners in progress, we are expecting extra five slots in the new cabinet that will eventually emerge? Our man, Osima Ginah, the Urban Development Commissioner has set up a very high standard in the state, and has shown determination in his pursuit for urban renewal. Since our party is very impressed with his performance, we have represented his name and that of his Special Duty counterpart, Chief Daves Ibiamu, with three others as our nominees for appointment as commissioners?”

Based on that, I think Governor Amaechi should consider the idea of bringing in at least two non-indigenes into his cabinet – as Commissioners – when he was to hearken to the clarion calls by AC. Amaechi should do this as it will boost his image across the divides of the state and strengthen his political and charismatic self-confidence.

Why this is necessary is because it is the non-indigenes that attack him whenever any project is being carried on in the state. The Commissioners would help confront the non-indigenes when any such project tagged biasness comes up. For example, Ndiigbo have always accused Amaechi-led government on the demolition exercise as a way of sending them packing from the state, as they hold half of the state's commerce, if not all.

Amaechi have the right to appoint an Igbo a Commissioner in Rivers State, at least, Ndiigbo have helped in no less ways to the development of Rivers State and as weill have shared bilateral relationships with Rivers people before and after the creation of Rivers State in 1967.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Oyigbo, 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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