The biblical story of Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who betrayed the Lord, is intended to teach the lesson of human moral frailties. Even though Judas showed remorse by returning the thirty pieces of silver which he received from the Chief Priests and elders for his evil act, the name had gone down in history as a symbol for traitors and, indeed, all forms of treachery.

What made the case of Judas special was that it was the betrayal of a person with whom he had been in close relationship. Like a family, Jesus and the 12 disciples lived together, travelled and preached the gospels. That, in fact, was the source of guilt that drove Judas to commit suicide in the most despicable way, soon after realizing the magnitude of what he had done. When, the All Progressives Congress (APC) recently announced the appointment of the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, I could not resist the hunch that the Governor was on the path of Judas Iscariot. Well, he has been on it for quite some time now!

First and foremost, it is important to properly situate the issue of Amaechi and betrayal to avoid misconception. It is true that Amaechi has, for quite some time, been waging a personal war against President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, both of whom he has been raining insults at will. As far as I am concerned, whether the President is involved or not, this is a confrontation between individuals and I am sure President Jonathan and his wife can defend themselves.

The betrayal I have in mind is against the people of the Niger Delta Region or South-South geo-political zone. After decades of suffering political domination in post-independence Nigeria, providence thrust on the Niger-Delta the rare opportunity of producing the President in the person of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. First, he became Acting President in 2010; contested the Presidential election of 2011 and assumed office as President. Today, he is down in history as the most outstanding President in our country. These developments, which all true Niger Deltans are proud of do not seem to sit well with some of the President's brothers and sisters, including Amaechi.

Ever before the crisis that hit the Nigerian Governors Forum in August, 2013, Governor Amaechi had betrayed the trust reposed in him by the people of Rivers State and by President Jonathan – all for a mess of pottage. Unknown to his own people in the Niger Delta, Amaechi had the ambition of becoming the Vice-President of Nigeria under a Northern President. In pursuit of this ambition, he used the Governors Forum, of which he was Chairman, to launch a series of attacks on the person of President Jonathan and his family, especially the First Lady.

Governor Amaechi also betrayed his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), through which he gained power; he betrayed his political allies and all those who staked everything they had to get him into government house in Port Harcourt.

The peak of Amaechi's acts of betrayal was when he defected from the PDP to the APC, hoping that he would be chosen as the Vice-Presidential candidate of his new party. As it turned out for this very ambitious man, that hope was dashed and he was compensated with the position of Director-General of Buhari's Campaign Organisation. A Governor turned DG? What a pity! Is there anybody to advise Governor Amaechi? When Judas Iscariot realized the consequences of his sinful act of betrayal, he was not only filled with remorse, he returned the thirty pieces of silver and committed suicide. We may not be able to tell exactly what's happening in Amaechi's mind; all that is obvious is that he deserves a lot of pity.

Now, Governor Amaechi has been goaded into accepting to play the hatchet man as DG to Buhari's Campaign Organization, his own brother, President Jonathan, will certainly be his main target of attack. Who says the APC leadership is not ingenious? Between now and February 14, 2015, Amaechi must tell the whole world why Jonathan is not fit to continue as President; why someone from the Niger Delta, indeed, from the South-South does not deserve to occupy the number 1 position and why power must return to the stock of Hausa/Fulani oligarchy who had ruled Nigeria for much of the time since independence. Amaechi now has the opportunity of telling the whole world that nobody, from the over 31 million people of the more than 40 ethnic nationalities, including the Ibibios, Urhobos, Binis, Efiks, Ijaws, Orons, Igbos, Ikweres, Kalabaris, Isokos, Itsekiri and Anangs, is capable of being the President of this country.

The greatest act of betrayal by Amaechi is against the people of Rivers State whose resources are being squandered by him in promoting the political aspirations of outsiders who do not mean well for them. It is no longer a secret that the reason Governor Amaechi was appointed DG for the Buhari Campaign Organisation is for him to deploy the abundant resources of Rivers State for Buhari's futile cause.

The question now is, to what end is Governor Amaechi doing all this? To be President or Vice-President? The Governor needs to be reminded that even if he succeeds in this crazy ambition, he would have to rule over the very people whose collective integrity he is destroying. Amaechi must not forget that “the evil that men do lives after them.” He knows very well how rare, it is in the Christian world to find a family bearing the name of Judas. So, he must be careful not to do anything that would bring the same infamy to his own family name. Someone should tell Amaechi that it is getting too late!

Written by John Udumebraye.

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