Gov. Amaechi, no doubt has become an enigma in Nigerian politics
that even those who disdain him would love to' use a sledge
hammer to kill a fly'. He has become an issue in both the
National and International media for his courage and tenacity to
remain relevant in the face of all manner of threats and
opposition. Often times, one wonders what is it about the man
that makes even the Presidency jittery whenever his name is
mentioned. Unfortunately, those who do not know him well believe
whatever they are told or what they read in the media.
Amaechi indeed has fought several political battles since his
first major election to the Rivers State House of Assembly in
1999 under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He became the Speaker from 1999 to 2007 and when he sought to
become governor after the man whom he had loyally followed and
meritoriously served; it became another major opposition that
culminated in the nation's apex court which declared him not
just the rightful candidate for the election but also the
rightful occupant of the seat in Rivers State Government House
as the governor.
Why was there a major gang up against him, one would ask? It was
nothing more than his penchant for being truthful and blunt. He
is never one to paint the truth in order to suit his whims and
caprices. Though, he may not be able to completely avoid those
he suspects to be harmful and economical with truth, but his
self-effort in trying to do so has cost him many 'friends' and
that in turn has also gotten him badly bruised.
Amaechi is currently facing a difficult time now because of his
insistence that the right thing must be done. When a contract is
awarded, he expects nothing short of proper execution and
completion of the project.
His soured relationship with his former Chief of Staff, Chief
Nyeso Wike has caused him his relationship with President
Goodluck Jonathan who prior now had always seen Amaechi as one
of his sons, albeit, a stubborn one. But all that has changed
and he has moved in the mind of the President from being a
stubborn son to a public enemy.
A lot of lies were told against him by the same man he went
against all odds to nominate as a Minister. The missing link in
the jigsaw puzzle on how to bruise Amaechi was the President's
wife who could not understand what manner of love it was between
Jonathan and David, though this time it is between Jonathan and
Amaechi. The launch pad for the smear campaign was thus provided
through his not rosy relationship with the First Lady.
The first shot fired against the governor was that he had an
ambition to contest the Presidential election in 2015 as a
running mate to a Northern candidate. While that was not
convincing to Jonathan, Amaechi's enemies now led by his former
aide went to town with posters of Gov. Sule Lamido and himself
as the joint ticket for PDP. That was the ace they needed to
convince the President that his son, just like Absalom did to
his father, David, was trying to upstage him and take over the
But any right thinking person should have known that the
position of Vice President is only made public after the
emergence of an elected candidate by a political party,
particularly the PDP.
The solution to this was for him to be denied a second tenure as
the Chairman of Nigeria Governors' Forum. A splinter group was
then created where the worst form of democracy was exhibited
before the prying eyes of the international community. Sixteen
votes were said to be greater than nineteen!
His detractor would not stop. But the impact of the soured
relationship is not only felt by the governor as the people of
the state were no longer eligible for any Federal Government
The allocations meant for State projects were now channeled to
the execution of Federal roads, in particular. Unfortunately,
monies amounting to billions of naira are being owed the state.
His enemies applauded the Presidency while the people of the
state which they now seek to rule are made to suffer.
Allocations to the state dwindled as oil wells belonging to the
state were ceded to Bayelsa state.
Worst still, he was forced to exit the PDP, the party he helped
form and nurture. His complete dependence on his trusted allies
cost him the party structure. They capitalized on the negligence
of the Party Chairman, Chief G.U. Ake, who thought it was one
united family and never asked for his certificate of Return
after being elected State Chairman of the Party. The only
evidence in court which was the video tape of the Congress that
elected him was not sufficient to sustain his claims. The blank
certificate from the PDP in Abuja was quickly written in favor
of a man who neither expressed interest nor participated in the
election. Felix Obuah, Wike's surrogate Chairman had traveled
out of the country few days to the Congress. Of course, the
truth shall prevail someday after it has destroyed some persons.
Amaechi's struggle to reclaim the Soku oil wells ceded to
Bayelsa, a sister state carved out from the old Rivers state
further became a smear tool against him. But what governor would
fold its hands when his allocations are unjustly slashed in
order to frustrate on going white elephant projects? The
plethora of lies against Amaechi cannot be imagined, yet he
hopes that someday, the truth would prevail. Had the governor
not escaped to Ghana and fought for his mandate from there,
would the truth have prevailed after fuve months of Celestine
Omehia on the saddle as governor? The truth prevails against
falsehood when the ''violent take it by force!"
The failure of the Federal Government to implement the UNEP
report on the Ogoni oil spill confirms that Rivers state has
been blacklisted under Amaechi in spite of being a PDP state
with the largest voting strength in the South South and South
East. The Bori-Bodo road has remained abandoned by the federal
Efforts to provide portable water for the people of the state
through a world bank loan was again frustrated by agents of the
federal government, not until few months to the end of his
tenure, the approval was given.
I hope that soon, the truth would prevail when the people
realize that Ahithophel had a reason for betraying and fighting
David. If not, what could be further from the truth when a man
who was appointed Chief of Staff for his support during the
legal battle could short-change all those who were meant to be
awarded contracts for their support? The total value of the
contracts was N30 billion and he went ahead and registered
business names and diverted the jobs to himself. The
unsuspecting group of "Believers", Amaechi's supporters only got
the contracts awarded to them as sublet for a meagre sum. The
"Believers" were also made to believe that the governor was not
interested in their welfare, so the man took credit for all
When it dawned on the governor that he had been double- crossed
and most of his supporters now had their loyalty pledged to his
COS, he challenged his most trusted ally. Rather than admit
guilt, he chose to destroy the man who had been instrumental to
his rise to political power.
Since then, more lies are being spread but for how long? Sure,
they are running out of lies.
While we wait for the truth to prevail someday, we hope that it
does not take too long to avert the destruction that may follow!