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Governor Amaechi and his Endorsement For Second Term

By Nwaorgu Faustinus
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Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, a former two-term Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 -2007, fought legal battles to occupy his present position in the state. The battles were obviously occasioned by his replacement with his cousin, Sir Celestine Omehia as the PDP standard bearer preliminary to the 2007 gubernatorial elections. Recall that Amaechi was at the Court of Appeal, Abuja in 2007 to challenge his substitution by his party, PDP as its governorship contestant with Omehia as the recipient of PDP's action.

Though Honourable Amaechi lost out at the Appeal Court Abuja, luckily he won his case at the Supreme Court at Abuja and was asked to be sworn in with immediate effect as the appropriate candidate to man the Brick House in the state. Today, most political commentators, analysts, media icons, fifth columnists and others see the emergence of Governor Amaechi as devine.

Notwithstanding that the above is now history, what becomes issue in some quarters is the call for him to run for second term come 2011. It would be recalled that at the tail end of May 2010, the Rivers State House of Assembly in a motion moved by Hon. Henry Ogiri, who represents Abua/Odual Constituency and seconded by Hon. Onari Brown from Akuku-Toru Constituency 11, which was supported by the House and approved by the Speaker, Hon. Tonye Harry urged Governor Amaechi to have a shot at the office for a second term.

In his reaction, Amaechi said: “I thank you for the honour of your vote of confidence. If I want to run for a second term I will come out and tell you but believe me, I have not made up my mind. I thank you, you are wonderful, you are a great set of human beings to work with”.

The question that needs to be asked is, does Amaechi deserves a second term as being pushed by the Sate House of Assembly though he has not made up his mind to run?. If the response is in the affirmative, what are the indices that necessitated the campaign for him to run for a second term?

At the outset of assumption of office, Gov. Amaechi did not leave anyone in doubt that he was genuinely determined to work for the overall interest of the people and inhabitants of Rivers State. In an unparalleled move, never experienced in the socio-political history of the state, Amaechi embarked upon awe-inspiring infrastructural development which has continued to generate tremendous commendations from journalists, contributors to media outfits and columnists. However, a negligible number of alleged political traducers and detractors are of the view that he has not achieved much or impacted positively on the wellbeing of rivers' people, given the amount of money at the disposal of the Chief Executive of the state.

Suffice it say that Amaechi has been able to rehabilitate and construct many roads in and round the state which has continued to elicit outpouring of encomiums on him by his teeming known and unknown admirers who are at home with his leadership style. According to Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the former Publicity Secretary of Rivers State Action Congress but now the Media Consultant to Prince Tonye Princewill, within three years of Amaechi's administration conservative total of about 245 roads are under construction in various parts of the state. Most of the roads have been completed, commissioned while others are nearing various stages of completion.

Again, in the area of health and education sectors, the impact of Governor Rotimi Amaechi's administration is being felt as about 150 model health centres, three major health institutions (Delta, Mother and Child Care and Mega Hospital among others) are ongoing with some completed, while others are at various stages of completion, thus testifying clearly the present administration's determination to bring sanity to the health sector. In the education sector, the building of classrooms across the various local government areas are ongoing. As if the above is not enough, the Amaechi led administration, disheartened by the inability of some local government Chairmen to pay the salaries of primary school teachers, has taken over the payment of salaries of local government school teachers which many consider as shame to many local government chairmen.

In addition, some political observers are of the view that, no Public Private Partnership (PPP) project was initiated by past administration, but Amaechi's regime in its three years of existence, has recorded some PPP initiative projects in the State; the international market, Mother and Child Hospital, Mega Hospital and the Silver Bird Cinema etc.

The security of life and property being enjoyed now, unlike before his assumption of office, is some thing one needs to commend Amaechi of. The issue of kidnapping is at a low ebb, as Abia state of the South-East axis has overtaken Rivers State in that despicable heinous criminal act. It is also on record that the current administration has dislodged those who engage in oil bunkering in the state. What about job creation, transportation, revenue generation etc which are eloquent mandate well delivered.

Although no single entity has the monopoly of bequeathing on its people landmark infrastructural facilities capable of standing the test of time, as according to Chief Bekinbo Seberekon, “some other people can do better than him (Amaechi)”. In view of the above achievements, Amaechi is the ironical devil the Rivers State House of Assembly know than the ironical angel they do not know and because the proof of the pudding is actually in the eating, that is, the law makers have tested and tried him and this informed his endorsement for a second term by the legislators.

Famous for being an epitome of good governance, the people's governor and godfatherless governor, the decision to run or not to come 2011remains yours to make.

Nwaorgu Faustinus, Socio-political commentator, writes from Igboetche, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.