Amaechi's True Enemies - By Odimegwu Onwumere

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"A critic is anyone who expresses a value judgement," defined lexicographers, but the interpretation of "a critic" by somebody who is close to the Rivers State government shocked me recently. He said and saw anyone who 'expresses a value judgement" about Governor Chibuike Amaechi-led administration as authomatically an OPPOSITION.

After a meeting he invited us and was driving a senior colleague and I in his car, he told the colleague to warn me that I am controversial in my writings and that since he noticed that, he decided to withdraw from me. He averred that some persons would be shocked if they hear that I was in the meeting, because of what he described as "your controversial writings against Amaechi." Even, he said that if the Amaechi's network of people hears that he invited me for the meeting, they will not want to do anything with him again. What is the entire hullabaloo for!

 I don't think that my admonisher actually understands or have checked the meaning of OPPOSITION apart from the myopic meaning given the word among Nigerian politicians before labeling me as one and saying that I am CONTROVERSIAL. Please, do we take CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM to mean OPPOSITION?

 Please, what is CONTROVERSIAL?     Is it CONTROVERSIAL when I tell his principal that he is losing his followership? Is it CONTROVERSIAL when I tell Amaechi about the issues in the society he has failed to address or has addressed? Please, does OPPOSITION not attack the Government and wants to take over because it comprised a group of politicians, while a CRITIC "expresses value judgment" about the government? Is a critic not somebody who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter which government is also part of?

 Maybe, because I have been doing these things outlined under the job of a critic, that was why my admonisher saw me as a "controversial writer who is not straight forward in my writings." I would not understand what my admonisher meant by 'you write like this today and tomorrow you write like that.'

 If he sees me as an OPPOSITION to Amaechi-led government, then I ask how many agenda by the government has the OPPOSITION supported? Opposition condemns but a critic "forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter." And I have been faulting and valuing Amaechi's agenda as they come. The records are there.

 I think there is something about my admonisher and whenever he sees anybody going in that direction, he runs from the person or begins to attack the person. But for how long shall he continue with this kind of chameleonic lifestyle? He forgets that everything has an expiry date. He boasts of trying to help me, but I have been obediently with him for 3yrs now and could not boast of anything meaningful I have gotten from him.

 What is wrong with my articles about Amaechi that my admonisher is so embittered with me? His principal even commends most of my works, but my admonisher will never find anything good in them because I do not praise Amaechi from the beginning of my works to the end, so that he will know that he has trained another sycophant he portrays. Journalism is not like that.

 If we all should continue to praise Amaechi so that we make money from him as in the eyes my admonisher, which he has been doing, this Rivers State will be in a total collapse. Look at Reuben Abati, he criticized President Jonathan the night before he was appointed SA, but my admonisher will never learn to talk good about me. He even talked about a person who wanted to make me his media aide, but said that the person was discouraged by whom he was discussing this with, because of my "controversial articles."

However, whether anybody who says the TRUTH now becomes an OPPOSITION to Amaechi or not, please Amaechi's Rivers State is gradually going down and Amaechi does not know this because of the feedbacks perhaps he gets from his field men like my admonisher that all are well. Amaechi, please all are not well.

I give anybody a task to take a ride round Port Harcourt and its environs. Have an open mind while you are on this tour, and be shocked with a collapsing environment therein. Please, do not tell me what you saw, so that I do not become A MADMAN either, in the eyes of my admonisher, because I will write about them. Do you now understand the true enemies of Amaechi? No wonder ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly said 'I dey laugh o!'

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: