Amaechi And His Many Fights

It is an axiom in International relations that in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemy but permanent interest. This principle holds sway in both small and large murky waters of politics. When all is said and done, the pun and the king often goes back into the same chess box.

In a democracy as nascent as ours, the purview of political bickering, crude scheming and untold insanity is limitless. The elongated ordeal of Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, speaks volume of how elementary our politics remain. Without sounding sycophantic, you have to have a seamless gut and great courage not to have cowered if placed in the storm Ameachi has been through. The genesis of how the governor fell out with the president is already public knowledge. However, what is most intriguing, is the many forces Ameach hashad to and is still confronting. Make no mistakes about it, Ameachi is not a saint, and I still have my doubts on whether he has come to equity with clean hands. However, one thing you cannot deny is that Ameachi has remained a fearless leader that has chosen to dare our demonic system.

One of the things Amaechi’s detractors cannot turn a blind eye to is that he has remarkably changed the state in the past six years. Success is comparative, and when one compares the Rivers state of Peter Odilli with that of Rotimi Ameachi, it is worlds apart. This is the opinion of an average Rivers man. In a clime where being a politician is synonymous to being the CEO of the world; Ameachi is yet to be dragged in the mud. In all truism, if Ameachi’s hands were not clean, he will certainly have been nailed. He might not be entirely perfect in this regard, but we are yet to hear of how he has built fifty five star hotels scattered all over the world. Moreover, if one should sieve sentiments away, the question is: what exactly have been Ameachi’s cardinal sins?
Many claim that he nurses ambitions that were going to pose a threat to those of Mr President. When did being politically ambitious become a bad thing? It is sad that while we are hoping for an improvement of our system, some politicians still see loyalty through the lens of ethnic and chauvinistic party sentiments. He might have spoken rudely and impolitely at times to the powers that be, however, what do we want a man that has been pushed to the wall to do? No doubts, he has fallen apart with our all powerful first lady, Patience Jonathan. The prologue of the bad blood between the pair began with the demolition of some buildings at Okrika, Dame’s hometown. Amaechi had earmarked some buildings for demolition to carry out his project of constructing schools in the region. Without doing a rehash here of the entire saga, we all still remember the humiliation the First lady meted to Ameachi when she snatched the microphone from him during a state visit. Her words were ‘Listen, you must listen to me…I am from here. I know the problems of my people. So, I know what I am talking…That word “must” you use is not good. It is by pleading.’ This is a bird’s view of how the first lady has humiliated Amaechi in the state. Then, there is the vociferous and shameless Nysome Wike. His various attacks on Amaechi are well chronicled. His ascension as minister has helped to sharpen his tongue and carry out his many attacks on Rotimi Amaechi. That such man holds a lofty position in President Jonathan’s cabinet is a testimony to the fresh air this administration has polluted us with.

What is more? The impunity that the Nigerian police have unleashed upon Amaechi and the Rivers people since this struggle skyrocketed leaves a lot to be desired. Try as hard as he may, Joseph Mbu cannot convince any rational Nigerian that he and his team are not partisan in this struggle. From the blockade at the government house, to the mayhem unleashed upon the planned rally of the Save Rivers Group, the police have been clearly compromised. It is difficult to understand how the president will think that we don’t all know that it is the voice of Jacob, but the hand of Esua. Having said that, Amaechi himself has not been without blame. In some ways, his politicking has been extreme and raw in most cases. It betrays reason how he and his camp will always seize on any slightest opportunity to cry foul. The distractions he is currently enmeshed in makes one wonder if he still tenders to his primary role of development in the state.
Conclusively, it remains to be seen if the defection to the APC, was the worst political move since Bush went into Iraq. However, whatever returns such moves bring back in 2015, it does not erase the fact that history will remember Ameachi for good. Our democracy is calling out for leaders who will not care whose ox is gored. A Leader who will stand up for what is right, even if he stands alone. Leaders who will dare to challenge the system, even at the cost of their lives. He might not be the ideal leader, but can we all think what a country we will have if a man of Amaechi’s character and personality saddles the presidency of this country. When all is said and done, the conundrum in Rivers state today will be a course module with an abstract that will read ‘A study of how one man stood up to fight the octopus in our system.’ Whether he survived, is something that the last pages of the course will tell us.

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