Rivers AC & The Ears Of Amaechi

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Unequivocally, the peace in the Rivers State political industry today was the withdrawal by Prince Tonye Princewill the case he filed at the court challenging the authenticity of the then Gov. Celetine Omehia's victory as the governor of the state in the 2007 elections immediately Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi won the PDP at the Supreme Court on the 25th of Oct 2007 and claimed his mandate and a Unity Government ensued by the strongest opposition party in the state, the Action Congress led by Princewill under which Princewill also contested the gubernatorial race of the 2007 elections.

While the AC was romancing with the PDP-led government in the state, the AC has not stopped being the best critic Amaechi-led government of Rivers State would not come to forget in a hurry, but the government seems not to be adhering to some calls of action by the AC.

For instance, in March this year, the party had called on the governor to dissolve his cabinet because of what it saw as overdue of the State Executive Council members, but instead of the governor do that he prolonged it to June 5th in what many called unceremoniously dissolve of his cabinet. And from many quarters, there are wagging tongues if why the governor took the unceremoniously decision was because he perceived that the men in his dissolved cabinet were good for nothing or what. They ask if what he did was not an act of shaming them out of office.

However, according to a report credited to Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the Rivers AC Publicity Secretary, “We do commend and congratulate him for the worthy and bold step that we believe from a part of his strategic plan to move the state forward.”

But in another vein, the party buttressed that the dissol ved cabinet was formally a makeshift one. In Chief Eze's word: “Considering that the past Cabinet was hurriedly constituted to jump start the state machinery on his assumption of the office of Governor in 2007, it is a widely held opinion, that with his in depth knowledge of the terrain in the course of close to two years at the helms of affairs, he should be in no hurry to constitute a new cabinet. We opine that he should take time to put up a Cabinet that will not only stand the test of time but will concretize our collective vision to take the State out of the doldrums' of the visionless leadership of his predecessors.”

The Rivers AC call on the governor is a good one but the question is whether he would incline his ears to this admonishment. Whereas the governor was supposed to be thanking the Rivers AC in its fight to making sure that the state was stabilized which saw the rest opposition party to join the Unity Government of the state this year, the drift was the opposite.

In the Rivers AC's word, “We of the AC, acknowledge Amaechi's magnanimity in embracing the opposition as well as demonstrating a focused and determined leadership style required at this time to position Rivers as one of the leading States in Nigeria As we identify with his vision for the State, we take this opportunity as he commences a new phase of his a dministration to assure him of our determination to avail him of the much needed support he needs to succeed in his bid to lead the State to “Eldorado''.

Further, “We must doff our hats to our erstwhile Ambassadors in the dissolved Cabinet (Barrister Osima Ginah, the immediate past Commissioner for Urban Development and his counterpart in the Special Duties, Dr. Ibiamu Davies) for leading the pack among the outstanding Commissioners in the Cabinet. For the great inputs and efforts, they made to the affairs of government during their tenure; we strongly hope they would be amongst the list of eight commissioners earmarked for recall when a new cabinet is constituted. Based on their commendable performance we anticipate that three additional slots in the cabinet be filled by members of the opposition, in the light of the new vibrancy injected into the opposition with the constitution of a consensus body of no less than 45 political parties working together with the incumbent Governor to move the state forward. The Leader of the opposition in Rivers State , Prince Tonye Princewill is expected within the week to submit the list of the five nominees to include the old and new Commissioner from the opposition to Gov. Amaechi”.

I pray that the governor would not turn his ears against the AC now (as he did in March till June he deemed convenient to him), when the Rivers AC called on him to dissolve his cabinet of which he procrastinated, albeit the constitution of men are not written on their faces, but we can read how the Unity Government is being ran in Rivers State. We are watching.

Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State. 08032552855