Nigeria Matters

The Heck About Amaechi’s Public House Experience

It is replete with Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, in stating how he lived with his crowd of siblings and their parents in public house (christened Face me I Face you) at Diobu, Port Harcourt. Amaechi never made any speech either in the media, church, social gathering, political campaign etc etc. without mentioning how, in the phantom house, they queued in the mornings to take bath, one after another, since he assumed power in October 26, 2007. The bomb of it all is his addition to the sorry story in an interview in a national paper that they took turn to pass faeces in a bucket.

One knows that Amaechi was telling his rather ugly tales to prove a point that his early life was not rosy and cozy and that today his life has changed astronomically than he presumed when he was living in the house that shaped him in life that he today contempt and narrates his once misery as if those who are still occupants of such house or in abject poverty should go and jump inside Rivers Niger, or better still, River Benue.

In Igbo it is said that when a gift that is too big for a child is given the child, the child resorts to questioning the giver who he or she should give the gift to. Amaechi represents this proverbial child who keeps on wreathing in shock because something he never expected or that is bigger than his previous standing was given to him.

It’s no crime living in public house, except that Amaechi has made us now ruminate the opposite with his campaign of disgust against such house as if anyone living in such house as face-me, I face-you, is not viable to be alive. Is Amaechi now telling people to always measure from the top, instead of measuring from the bottom, the later being the way things are done, by the manner he always talk about sharing a building with a mammoth persons? Occupying a palatable, expensive and expansive buildings and compounds such as Amaechi is enjoying in the Government House, Port Harcourt, doesn’t make those still living in the shanties and slums sub-humans.

Amaechi, perhaps, could not have had the opportunity to become governor today if he was born with the much touted golden or silver spoon in mouth. The poor background he once enjoyed (not humble beginning because Amaechi doesn’t sound being humble by his dispositions) shaped him for the position he found himself today. However, the children that their mothers are back from the market quick should not take others whose mothers have not returned that they are running mad in the market.

Such tales by Amaechi of how he suffered in the public house, without doubt, may have spurred many adolescents hearts today to make money by magic or design, so as to live like Amaechi in the Brick House, whose innuendos about public house depicts that he is enjoying so much at the fullest of life in his new residence.

Especially now that many Nigerians are crying against absolute moral aberration or decadence among citizens, Amaechi’s statement doesn’t portend to shape people to be contented with where they are, while they aspire for higher achievements in life; his statement about public house tantamount to mocking those who still “enjoy” their lives in the public houses, and can’t steal to get out of it.

One doesn’t see any rationale in Amaechi using such despicable comments – we queued to take bath and had to take turn to pass feaces in bucket – whereas people are living in abject poverty in Rivers State; and here he speaks from the tax-payers house, to indirectly downsize the poor.

What has Amaechi even done to leverage the residents of Rivers State to exit from poverty? Are the civil servants happy with his government for flashing torch in their annual incentives and other matters? Has Amaechi even accepted to pay the minimum wage? How many retired civil servants received their pensions in Rivers State? And, here he is always loathing public house! Wouldn’t people live in public house again? Amaechi should even be thankful to his God that he saw public house that he lived in. He should take a walk round Mile One and Mile Three parks at night and see thousands of citizens whose abode is the open park. Yes. On the newspapers: “Amaechi is developing Rivers State”, He is the New Face of Rivers State”, etc etc.

It is annoying when a rich man begins to contempt roasted yam his poor mother fed him with when he was poor. Such a rich man has unbridled mouth, and could attract the curse of his mother whom he has left with no option than to continue to eat the roasted yam because her son was busy building houses, executing contracts, junketing around the world and purchasing luxury cars whereas his mother is still in dire situation of poverty and her son is regarded in the milieu as a wealthy person.

The above depicts the situation many people are facing in the Amaechi’s Rivers State. The shamefaced ousted Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, at least, gave his people hope of the turnaround mirage 10, 000 jobs. In the case of Amaechi, what hope has he given to the masses of Rivers State: “Okada and Keke NAPEP operators should not ply the major streets of greater Port Harcourt city.” They should now ply the roads of the greater poverty city? With this ban, why can people not still live in public house, when there is no industry in Rivers State, and the jobs the people provided for themselves, were banned? Let us say that Amaechi is tearing roads and deregulating government owned companies in Rivers State.

Amaechi should learn from ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. When the later was president, he was awash with the songs of sycophants that he despised anybody with a single truth telling him that his government was paper-tiger. It was the same sycophants that have today turned against Obasanjo and are telling him how immature his government performed.

Amaechi was supposed to pay for the advise (Special Advisers Not In Government) are giving him on the media, because sycophants do sell crass ideas most times to the people in power ‘not to mind (Special Advisers Not In Government), because they are “relevance-seekers-critics”. Amaechi should not be in the position of Obasanjo who saw 99% of sycophants’ voices praising him as against the lonely voice of TRUTH that he was supposed to acknowledge.

Now that Amaechi is buxom with years before he steps aside from the Government House Port Harcourt, as governor, he should be focused on certainties inlure of carrying a long queue of projects at the same time as if Rivers State could be developed overnight. Impossible. He can only shape the state in attaining the features of a developed state, then subsequent governments, if they would have a human face, his dream Rivers State would be developing.

Many people loved Amaechi for his ‘closed mouth’ when he ran away to Ghana in the advent of the 2007 elections. What has come of him now? Power? He should know that no leader anywhere in the world has overwhelmed himself or herself with annoying statements, such as the higgledy-piggledy statement of how he queued in line to take bath and pass feaces in bucket in public house. These types of testimonies are supposed to be in the author biography and not on the pages of the newspapers.

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