VP slot: How Amaechi blew N5billion. On his port Harcourt rally
It seems that Niccolo Machiavelli had Governor Chuibike Amaechi of Rivers State in mind when he made the above statement. This aptly captures the political situation he is in presently.
From been the Personal Assistant (PA) to the former governor of Rivers State – Dr. Peter Odili to Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly and now Governor of Rivers State, he has secured himself and can now attack anyone (including President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife) who dares to be an obstacle in his desperate quest for more political powers. Call that ambition. Yes! Amaechi is very ambitious, but to waste N5 billion just to lobby for vice presidential slot is very outrageous! Is that all? No. Few months ago, NewsDay Reporters reported how Amaechi shared N300 million to selected “Bloggers” otherwise known as Cashivists during #TheAmaechiIknow. He has also put aside over N30 billion for this 'special project.' No thanks to the recent approval of N19 billion by the State House of Assembly to be withdrawn from the State reserve.
Many people that attended the All Progressive People (APC) mega rally held at Adokiye Ameisima stadium of Greater Port Harcourt City on the October 25, 2014, thought that it was actually to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the historic Supreme Court verdict in 2007 that enthroned Amaechi as the authentic and duly elected Governor of River State. That was just a front.
One of Lai Mohammed's aides – who doesn't want his name in print has it that, the rally was meant to show APC stalwarts that Amaechi can pull the needed South-south and Southeast votes if given the vice presidential slot, so as to edge out the preferred candidate for the position – Govern Babatunde Fashola. In his words:
“Amaechi is just wasting his time and money. How does he think he can edge out Fashola as the VP? He spent billions of naira, to make his man – Sam Jaja – APC national chairman, yet failed and now he is spending another billions to become the VP. He will definitely fail again because if Fashola is dropped, the Yoruba voters would vote Goodluck Jonathan”
True to that, Southwest APC governors and other members led by Governor Adams Oshomole – who support Fashola's candidature, shunned the rally. But the success of the rally has put their camp in political disarray. Fashola is Buhari's preferred candidate as a VP which made him to say that, he has no issue about Muslim-Muslim ticket. One of the reasons is that, Buhari wants to run with a conservative and coolheaded Fashola than a radical Amaechi. He is also adamant about the Muslim-Muslim ticket, having ran with Christians and failed in his last three presidential bids.
However, the only problem is Bola Tinubu – who doesn't want Fashola as VP. Tinubu prefers Amaechi as VP because he feels that Fashola has come to an end of his political career for whatever reason. He has been working behind the scene to achieve this and was the brain behind this mega rally.
People have been asking how did Amaechi pull so many crowds in this rally? Tinubu told him that, the only way to edge out Fashola on the VP slot is to show APC bigwigs that he can actually secure the so needed South-south and Southeast votes. So, Amaechi brought out a whopping sum of N5 billion for the rally and disbursed to the following persons to mobilize the youths for the rally:
Mrs. Ibim Semenitari – the commissioner for Information and Communication – who also doubles as Amaechi's mistress was mandated by the governor to see to the success of this rally. This woman is Amaechi's “anchorman” and she is so powerful that men in Rivers State govt fear her more than the governor.
Pepperoni – the laundry man that runs a fast food chain and whose boss is Eric Idogun, mobilized people from Abia and Imo States. Most of the funds were and are still being disbursed from his Ada George office
Preye Aganaba – the lapdog who happens to be powerful due to his illicit affair with Ibim Semenitari (Amaechi's powerful mistress) used his football foundation and mobilized the Bayelsa group
Henry Amadi – the Chairman PHALGA was also given huge sum of money as he hired dozens of 18 sitter buses to mobilize the youths in and around Port Harcourt city.
The youths mobilized for this rally were paid N5, 000 each as appearance fee. This is happening in a State where 2012 Corp members have not been paid their “allowee”; the over 13, 000 teachers the governor hired are still being owed many months salaries. Some of them have not been paid for once since they were employed. The Port Harcourt monorail where billions of naira was invested into has been abandoned due to “lack of fund”, yet the governor has the fund to rent crowd to lobby for VP slot. It is really true that a man with ambition can act desperately.
Culled from newsday reporters
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