Amaechi and the Jonathan Question: It appears Nigerians have been passive

by Odimegwu Onwumere

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

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

Who doubts Amaechi when he says that a tyrant resides in Aso Rock?

You may also like

Leave a Comment