Soyinka, Tinubu, others extol Amaechi’s virtues
FOR Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, yesterday will remain evergreen in his memory as eminent Nigerians took turns to eulogise him for his tenacity of purpose and uncommon conviction for standing on the path of truth and justice.
Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, said he admired the courage of conviction Amaechi brought to bear on governance by standing for and sacrificing for what he believes in as he battled the powers-that-be in the country.
And former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu described Amaechi as a general of commonsense revolution that is devoid of violence.
The duo spoke yesterday in Lagos at the launch of a book, Dynamics of Change: The Amaechi Years.
Soyinka stated that only two people elicited such admiration from him: Amaechi, the architect of the process of change and Tinubu, whom he regards as the arrowhead of hope, who said, “we can’t always be club members, which is not a popular, but risky position to take. When 16 is said to be higher than 19, then something is wrong. Amaechi stood up to challenge this mentality.”
Soyinka also recounted how someone in Aso Rock once asked him to tell Amaechi to slow down in his confrontation with the Presidency and that he was playing with fire. But he said he ignored taking the message to Amaechi until he revealed it at the gathering yesterday. He added that he didn’t believe the governor was on the wrong in his struggle to bring sanity to the political arena.
“I admire courage as an element of life, the courage of conviction to put yourself out whatever it takes,” Soyinka said. “What matters is to have the courage of conviction and be ready to make necessary sacrifices. The political atmosphere, whether you call it hope, continuing hope, moving forward niggardly to cautious hope, I recognize two people in the charge towards hope.
The first is the architect of the process and the essence of hope; that is, Amaechi. The other, who is always late to events and might be late for his own funeral, is Tinubu. That’s the man I regard as the arrowhead of hope, who said we can’t always be club members. It’s not a popular position, but a risky position as well to take”.
And, characteristically to Soyinka’s prediction, Tinubu walked into banquet hall of the Civic Centre where the event was being held and caused uproar in the hall.
Tinubu praised Amaechi for his exemplary exploits in the process of bringing about change in the leadership of the country during the last election.
According to him: “Amaechi is a good example of commonsense revolution in Nigeria. Nigeria needed commonsense revolution that is devoid of violence. The result of the election demonstrated that Nigerians craved for change.
We must retool ourselves with the leadership in terms of the polices that must be suited to the masses.
It was a revolution that was progressive, that will repair, and restore the nation for collective prosperity.
It’s a call to return to decency in the relationship between the government and the people. One of the generals in the commonsense revolution is willing to show the world he’s ready to chart the path to a better Nigeria.”