Between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan
It is no longer news that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had recently formed a group – the PDP Governor’s Forum apparently aimed mainly to checkmate the excesses of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) which ironically was chaired and has been chaired since its formation by one of its members – in most recent times, the Rivers State Governor – Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. What has obviously been a surprise to many (not that I condone inept leadership) is the fact that the NGF has become not only a thorn in the flesh of the Federal Government but that it comprises 24 PDP Governors who ordinarily would have been calming things down and not chastising the Federal Government at every opportunity.
From the average onlooker, it would appear that the NGF were now the champion of the cause of the common man but for those who know, there are no permanent friends but indeed permanent interests in politics, then the whole drama is worthy of taking a second look at before taking sides, at least in Nigeria. Having come from the Niger Delta, I may be accused of being biased but I would plead that you allow me in this case – the two persons involved at the center of this soap opera are both from the Southern part of the country so let me vent on them – thank you very much!
Before President Jonathan’s rise to the zenith of political leadership in Nigeria, we all saw how he carefully rose from being a University lecturer to Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice-President, Acting President and now President. If this is not some fairy-tale story then I guess nothing else is. The question now is why is Governor Amaechi bent on fighting him at all costs?
There was so much rumour in the early days about how two Governors from the South-South were lobbying intensely to stop then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan from becoming Acting President even when it was obvious the late President Yar A’dua could not perform his duties anymore. While one was very obvious, the other remained a mystery for a while. But recent happenings have shown who the mole was.
We were also told of peace moves being made between the two and to demonstrate that he had forgiven his younger brother, President Jonathan upon assumption of the full reigns of office visited Rivers State within one week and has been carrying the Governor along in his dealings, at least publicly. So the question is: why would Governor Amaechi be discreetly fighting President Jonathan? Is it out of envy? Maybe he really wants to become (Senate) President. Can’t he learn from the experience of Silvia, Odili, Ibori and so many others? I am particularly disappointed because ever since he won 2nd term in office, he has become so arrogant and the I-don’t-care attitude has become so prominent like he doesn’t realize he only has 2 years more in office. Projects in Rivers State have suffered a meltdown; suddenly Peter Odili looks like a saint and his sins – child’s play.
This is where I ask: where is the EFCC when all these white elephant Monorail, Greater Port Harcourt, Gas turbine projects are being used to siphon State resources? It seems the Governor is more interested in rolling with and/or comparing himself with the more established Tony Elumelu’s of this world when in fact they are enjoying successes from their business acumen. I have said this before in an earlier post – never you take sides with anyone against the family. It may be late for Governor Amaechi to realize that if he ever does and unfortunately, it’s the ordinary people of Rivers State that are made to suffer it all. This carry-go politics of PDP in Rivers State is so deeply cancerous that any dissenting voice is easily labeled an “enemy of democracy”.
However, one thing is almost certain and I hope the Governor or his praise singers get to read this: He may never become President of Nigeria! If he doubts it, he should go to Adamawa State and ask a man they call the Turaki Adamawa - Atiku Abubakar. A child who does not respect his Elder will always be blinded by political naivety, stupendous foolishness, unwarranted selfishness and above all, ungodly ambition. When one is carried away so much that they become desperate, it becomes so visible to even a blind man that in itself becomes an impediment. But all hopes are not lost and the sooner he asks for forgiveness and genuinely repent, the better for him and his political career. The recent court sacking of the Rivers State executive of the PDP who were his loyalists should be an indicator of the many things lined up; party nominations for elective positions will take place in another year or so; Governor Amaechi may not be able to “install” a successor…the picture should be clear by now to everyone.
The challenge now is that the man is also not helping matters and seems to be digging deeper and deeper and practically making it impossible for any reconcilliation. At every turn, he does not fail to tell anyone who cares to listen that the President is after him. The recent press briefing by Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information was to say the least, charitable. She ended up abusing both the person and Office of the President that it makes you remember with utter disgust, someone called Femi Fani-Kayode. There is nothing as naive as that in my view and I also think that the lawyers have a saying that “he who comes into equity must come with clean hands“. This should be his watchword.
Finally, before anyone concludes, let it be known that I am not particularly happy with President Goodluck Jonathan’s performance in Office but when everything is analyzed and reviewed in light of the humongous challenges he is faced with, particularly the security challenges which no other President – living or dead had faced, I stand by him and would rather err on the side of caution by giving him the benefit of doubt and believe me at the rate we are going, come 2015, there will be no rival, at least not Governor Amaechi. In the words of Dr Frederick Fasheun, founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) “…he is not responsible for our ill luck…during election, certain people said they were going to make the country ungovernable for him. Is the country governable now?”.