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Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi: A better political devil

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi


I am not a fan of Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi but he is a better devil than most politicians I have watched in River’s political corridor. I watched how he rose up to the occasion in Rivers and chased bad boys out of the state and we could sleep with both eyes closed. All politicians are devils but some are better devils and I will like to think that RotimiChibuikeAmaechi is a better devil in the politics of Rivers State. Amaechi stopped ferreting for people in holy temples as well as traditional rulers so as to dash them Rivers money when he was governor of Rivers State. The reason, many do not speak well of him. Minutes, before the conclusion of holy mass at Mater Misericordiae, Catholic Church, Rumuomasi, on Sunday, March 22, 2015 the parish priest announced the presence of a guest who paid an unscheduled visit and, asked for the chance to engage the parishioners. That visitor was RotimiChibuikeAmaechi, then Governor of Rivers State. One expected to see the governor, described as conceited by many to exhibit that eccentricity, but his appearance belied the pigeon-hole, by my assessment.

It was obvious that most members had already made up their minds on who to vote for because of the open bellicosity displayed, especially since they know without second telling which camp he belongs to and where his allegiance lay. Even though, that visit wasn’t a campaign stopover, some members rowdily spoke out that they will vote for a particular candidate, I expected the governor to be hot under the collar but he didn’t, especially, since some parishioners weren’t ready to be open to ideas, but he was able to permeate the brick wall, spoke truth to power, so good that he got a rapturous ovation.

He wasable to inspire pride about his Catholicism, expressed his open revulsionto the plight the Igbo people suffered during the abandoned property saga in Rivers, his continued call for the abrogation of the term, ‘non-indigene,’ the chief reason he is cordial towards non-indigenes  and even considered them in the award of educational scholarships in a foreign country. I am not his fan, but if the way he was able to calm uneasiness leading to round of applause before he took his leave is anything to go by, then the man knows politics. I have once admonished the king-daddies to heed the advice of General Ibrahim Babangida. If they feel so entitled that they are more important than any other, “I do not join issues with people who, in God’s infinite mercy, I am higher than.”

When people are fatally wounded – in cross fires, in Rivers state – the acts are mostly linked to politics. What is worrying is that – there doesn’t seem to be ideological co-dependence by the members of political parties to fight crime. Members of these parties across board unbelievably, without fail, accuse the other for being behind deaths recorded when mishaps occur.  Efforts are never exerted in a bipartisan manner to fight crime.

Scylla must always accuse Charybdis. Peace in the state – they say, is an essential commodity needed yesterday but benignity and forbearance, essential commodities necessary for peace are absent today and peace has taken flight. Still – many observers opine that the major political players in Rivers State do not practice democracy in its truest sense, but grandstanding, a classic case of revolt and settling of accounts with political gladiators. Is this the Rivers State, Wenike Briggs, Harold Dappa-Biriye and many others fought to have created by the Federal Government?
• Simon Abah wrote from Abuja
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Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi
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