Abuja Coalition of Sinners and their misguided sponsors

By Nkanunye Chizi

There are new and hot jobs in Abuja. The employers are paying so handsomely and are available to woo everybody and anybody who is ready to make quick bucks. You do not need to have any specific qualification to come along. You just have to have access to the internet and an ability to suppress your conscience. Your major deliverable on duty is to try to hurry an article regardless of whether it is spiced with grammatical blunders or not. You must be willing to tell lies, amputate facts, distort history, contaminate the truth and spread outright misinformation, with ease. The employers and their collaborators are so much in a hurry and do not bother about quality, credibility or public opinion and so you bring up anything. From the preposterous to the ludicrous, you are sure to earn your pay. The mission of these new jobbers is to tarnish the image of the Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors' Forum, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and paint him as arrogant and disrespectful. One of such hack write-ups appeared on select online publications and was written by one George Kerley, a self-appointed apologist of President Goodluck Jonathan and alleged spokesperson of MEND militant group, who goes by the pseudonym Cynthia White. The nature of the write-up betrayed the fact that the author wanted to earn his pay at all costs by pouring abhorrent insults and demonising comments on the personality of the Governor. I know that responding to such empty write-ups may bring underserved public attention to it. However some of us owe all discerning Nigerians a duty to challenge and debunk falsehood for the sake of the unsuspicious few that may fall prey to what is clearly the work of a petty blackmail missionary. I will only exhume some of the lies told in the said article, just to assist the public with the facts and insulate everyone from the author's misleading and totally unsubstantiated claims.

The controversy surrounding the ownership of oil wells is the first issue. Though this is still a subject of litigation, suffice to say, therefore, that Rivers State went to court to challenge the move by our neighbouring states deliberately to misrepresent facts by distorting the position of the inter-state boundaries. It is on record that even when the conflict was yet to be resolved the Revenue Allocation and Fiscal Commission decided to release the money to one of the parties of the conflict. Unwittingly, the spokesperson of the President, instead of being neutral, rose in defence of such action and condemned one party in the conflict. The question for Mr. Kerley is whether the President is for a particular state and not the other? Is it proper for the Presidency to have taken sides in such a very sensitive issue involving two brotherly Niger Delta states? I thought that a wise elder brother should be neutral (or at least pretend to be) when his own brothers are fighting?

On the comments concerning the appointment of the NDDC managing Director, the author again displayed his ignorance arrogantly. The President did not do Rivers people any favour by appointing Dr. Christian Azubike Oboh, an indigene of Rivers State to that position. It is clearly our right as guaranteed by law and not a privilege. Section 12 of the NDDC Act 2000 clearly specifies where the Managing Director will come from at any given time. For the records, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, the erstwhile Managing Director, was also an indigene of Rivers State but could not complete his tenure before the board was removed. So why is Mr. Kerley dubiously misrepresenting what is clearly a legal right of Rivers people as something that came through the magnanimity of the President? When shall the mediocrity of praising a man for doing that which the law requires him to do come to an end? Can he please point another area where the President has been benevolent to his in-laws in Rivers State? How else can someone be dishonest?

Another strand of untruthfulness in the said article is about the demonstrations that happened in Port Harcourt last week. No one is in doubt about those who sponsored the demonstrations. Some of the ex-militants who were involved were those loyal to Mr. Ateke Tom and Mr. Sogboma Jackresh (aka Egberipapa). Nigerians know that these characters have been enjoying support of their madam-at-the-top and their overzealous sympathisers. More than seventy per cent of those who demonstrated were imported from Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States in numerous buses. These two state governors are known sponsors of the anti- Amaechi campaign and the world knows it. They have not denied this. Their reasons for having sleepless nights about the giant strides of the Rivers State governor are clear. They are confounded by four things that make Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi a distinctive politician – the wonder of his wit, the confidence of his conviction, the fortress of his logic as well as the width of his wisdom and forthrightness. These elements have sworn to a mission to tarnish the sterling credentials of the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors' Forum. One of their main motives in sponsoring the demonstrations is to orchestrate violence and rob Port Harcourt residents, the peace of mind that they have been used to for almost six years now. Fortunately, they failed woefully. The good people of Rivers State and the teeming supporters of Mr. Amaechi refused to join issues with these hoodlums and their intention to create mayhem. Furthermore, the supporters of Mr. Amaechi are aware that his recent victory at the NGF elections in Abuja was another heavy blow on the side of these unpatriotic elements. Nigerians know that its effect hit their camp more scandalously than they will ever admit. But in the end these governors must rise above pettiness and move on.

For Mr. Amaechi, what is important is to continue to govern Rivers State in a transparent and result oriented manner. That is what he was elected for and that is what he swore to do. It is refreshing to note that he does not consider his re-election as a personal victory but as a triumph of democracy. He has pledged to work with the President to move the nation forward. Mr. George Kerley and his misguided sponsors should stop lying in their false imagery about a fight that does not exist. Amaechi and the President are brothers. His commendable performance as a Rivers State governor is a source of pride to all of us in the Niger Delta. President Jonathan knows this, and has publicly acknowledged this on several occasions and should not allow these sociopathic sycophants to mislead him. These other governors should now rethink and seek to make a mark in their states and pursue a political future devoid of mudslinging, violence and brigandage. They should seek the face of God and His forgiveness for coveting and attempting to break the peace of a sister-State. God's mercy is bottomless just as His fury can be without end! Case closed!!.

Nkanunye is a public affairs analyst based in PortHarcourt.

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