Amaechi And The Jonathan Question: It Appears Nigerians Have Been Passive
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has been fighting a political battle with the presidency and its arsenal of political impostors that many Nigerians thought that by now he would have surrendered. But hardly does a warrior surrender in a battle that he finds to be just unless justice is achieved, no matter who may be in support or against.
A warrior does not mind losing his life in such a war, instead of allow himself to be cowed to accept peace and his voice muffled. For example, the Biafrans were apparently intimidated to a defeat in the 1967-1970 uncivil war that the federal might carried out against the peoples of the old Eastern Region. But forty-something years after the war ended in the battle bushes, Biafrans are still clamouring for justice and equity in the federal character on the map of the areas that were once known as the Republic of Biafra.
While many people who are enjoying the debris they get from the presidency thought that Amaechi was talking too much, like a warrior he is, he was credited to have criticized the presidency, as always, when recently he visited Degema Local Government Area of the state, where he urged the youth to involve more in sporting activities and developments. Some folks, especially those from the Ijaw nation, have since then brought Amaechi to the cleaners, for what they said was an affront on their son, Jonathan.
But to be frank, the media handlers of President Goodluck Jonathan and many others close to him and the PDP in Rivers State, have only shown that they are too desperate for political offices: Power. They forgot that their desperations and attacks against Amaechi obviously make Jonathan look like a tyrant over the undefined issue between Governor Amaechi and him, of which Jonathan might not be a tyrant.
One such person is Barr Nyesom Wike who happens to be the Minister of Education. Wike was once quoted as saying that all the borders and airports and seaports would be closed if Jonathan was announced the winner of the 2015 election in order to stop Amaechi from escaping from the country. Wike categorically made this comment, depicting that something that would not follow the rule of law was cooking against Amaechi in the presidency, therefore buttressing the axiom which says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Nigerians saw how Governor Amaechi was insulted and molested like a no-body severally, when he flew his aircraft to some states in the country. The molestation that was meted out to him in Osun, during the state's election, was one out of the many attempts by the 'power from above' to ridicule Amaechi, who is by the constitution was supposed to be enjoying the immunity, as enshrined in the constitution. One Gulak who served the president before he was disgracefully fired was also garrulous that Amaechi was always in the news for the wrong reasons only known to Gulak.
A keen observer would know that the reason these people have been calling for the head of Amaechi was because of his stoutly approach to unraveling issues that even the angels dread in the presidency. In June this year, his detractors saw it as a crime, when he called for the resistance of tyranny, which he said that was manifest in the country's leadership. It was at the 3rd annual lecture of the Ogun State Correspondents' chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, which held at the NUJ secretariat, Iwe Irohin, Abeokuta that he made the comment.
Hear Amaechi: “Leadership is an extremely important factor, if we are going to build a nation. Unless and until we have leaders with ability, integrity, commitment and vision, we cannot succeed as a country. We cannot succeed by leadership that is not functional…. It is in your hands to choose and to change the leadership. Nigerians must begin to insist that they deserve better than they are getting…. We believe that Nigeria of our dream is Nigeria with leaders who are not only consistent, transparent, but, also, passionate about our country….
“Can we say that the crop of leadership at various levels is passionate about us as a country? Can we say that the current crop of leadership at the federal level is transparent in their dealings? Can we say that the present crop of leadership at the federal is consistent with policies that will build the nation? I think that the answers to that is the reason why some of us left the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress…. Nigerians must say no to tyranny. Nigerians must say no to dictatorship. The people get the kind of leadership they deserve…. It appears that Nigerians have been docile. Nigerians should insist that they deserve more than they are getting”.
Amaechi was barely through with that lecture, before the echo of his speech had been amplified by those who thought they loved Jonathan and that he was their better-half than the rest Nigerians. Amaechi was made a demon by Jonathan's political yesmen; Amaechi was demonized for sermonizing what many Nigerians knew were the truths: the South-South and South-East people for example were just being sentimental in supporting Jonathan to the detriment of the zones truthful and collective awareness; the zones were developed in other administrations than in Jonathan's.
Take for instance; all the Jonathan's electioneering promises to the South-South and South-East seem like a ruse today, as virtually every federal project is left unattended to. Talk of the East-West Road, Eleme/Onne Road, Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway and many others; the second Niger Bridge and a host of others. Let's see one federal project that the Jonathan-led government has gotten right, before Amaechi is called names.
When on April 24 2014 that Amaechi repeated his obligation to the All Progressives Congress, APC, they said that he was against Jonathan; Amaechi's traducers perhaps forgot that Amaechi was only expressing his fundamental rights to speech. His detractors didn't see the glaring propaganda and blackmail credited to Amaechi's former Chief of Staff and Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, saying that Amaechi was planning a comeback to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, through the 'back door', which was the reason Amaechi made the comment.
All that they saw was that 'Amaechi has spoken against Jonathan'. And you ask whether Amaechi was just saying the truth or blackmailing Jonathan, just like we have read in the media of the PDP, saying that Amaechi speaks like a motor-park tout: all for his critiques on the Jonathan-led government. Those that are against Amaechi, because of the trickily sentiment they have for Jonathan, should understand that you don't beat a child and at the same time, say that he or she should not cry.
Here is a man whose state's oil wells in Kalabari and Etche were ceded to neighbouring Bayelsa, Abia and Imo states by the Jonathan presidency, because of politics of animosity, which Amaechi has always ascribed as tyrannical on the part of the presidency. However, even though that truly Amaechi was not loyal to the president, should that have warranted this imbecilic approach against the Rivers State's revenue generation means? The sad aspect is that the Kalabaris who now think that Jonathan is their brother are fighting Amaechi, leaving Jonathan a free man, whereas the later is the one they should be asking the many questions that they want Amaechi to provide answers to.
Amaechi had told them that he was not returning to the PDP and had asked the people to check if Wike was okay for his talkative statement, which was that Amaechi was planning to return to the PDP. They wouldn't allow the man to rest. But in the words of Amaechi: “I am not returning to the PDP. That man (Wike), they should check him whether he is okay. I have finished with the PDP…. Well, I had made a promise that if they returned the Kalabari oil wells I will return to the party; well that is a different thing. Let's see that happen. The real thing is that there are issues that are fundamentally different between the APC, the PDP and myself.
“If I am progressive, I must be progressive and I must see it in the type of life I live, what I do and what I say and how I relate with the people, the type of governance. You can't carry out a socialist programme like this free education, properly free education where children are given laptops, free uniforms, fed and sent home. There are so many of these things we run that are contrary to the ideology of PDP....”
These are happening, whereas in the media, we read from those in the PDP fighting Amaechi, as if 'he is finished for his checks of Jonathan', when at the back they go to beg of Amaechi to join the PDP. And Amaechi would say: “Beyond the oil wells, I have told them, they have approached me. If they want, I will call the names of those that approached me, but that is not an issue. There are issues that are fundamentally different.. If I am a progressive, it must be seen in the type of life I live, in what I do, how I relate with people and the type of governance.
“I said people should ignore him (Wike). Are you sure that if I tell the PDP that I am coming back in 10 days, they will not send a dance party here? One problem with leadership in Nigeria is that when you are a president, a governor or a minister, what you say must be factual. You cannot be part of gossip. So, that young man (Wike), who claims to be Minister of State for Education, who does not know what it means to be a minister, is saying I am begging to come back to the PDP. What is the PDP? I beg you, please, do not ever ask me question about that young man (Wike), because I will not answer you”.
It is laughable that the likes of Wike want Amaechi to exhibit total loyalty to Jonathan, whereas they do not want to show same to Amaechi, being their state governor. Notwithstanding, it behooves on every intelligent person to support against any imposition of governorship aspirant by the presidency in Rivers State against the will of the Rivers masses. This is because according to a statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Amaechi, Mr. David Iyofor, partly said, “The people of Rivers State will strongly and bravely resist any attempt by anyone or institutions, including the presidency, to unconstitutionally install the preferred PDP aspirant as Governor of the State, now or in the 2015 election.
“There is no provision in the Nigerian Constitution and laws for the 'installation' of a preferred aspirant as governor of a state by the presidency. What our laws prescribe is a free and fair election that must be devoid of police and security forces coercion, harassment and intimidation of voters.
“Rivers voters must be allowed to and will freely choose and elect their governor in the 2015 elections. It is their inalienable democratic right that they will not and will never surrender to anyone or institution, including The Presidency.
“We must warn that the looming danger ahead for our polity and our country is indeed ominous, if this noxious script is acted out. This is an avoidable crisis that must be avoided by all parties mentioned in the reports”.
Who doubts Amaechi when he talks that a tyrant resides in Aso Rock?
Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Tel: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]