Rotimi Amaechi; The Greatest Risk Taker Of Modern Nigerian Politics, But Will People Of South-South Ever Forgive Him? By Eniola Opeyemi
That Rotimi Amaechi, the outgoing governor of Rivers state is a figure to reckon with in the present day politics is not a gimmick, checking how the feud all started between the controversial first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan to how the likes of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babaginda predicted that he is a loyalist of his that understands the politics, no doubt that the rivers state former speaker that enjoys the mixed ethnics of the Yoruba became the chairman of the governors forum (NGF) twice, though the second is controversial.
When I see the true picture of Rotimi Amaechi I see myself remembering my days as the coordinator of the Nigerian students in south -west, Nigeria under the aegis of National association of Nigerian students, having a never die spirit, manuervering the unknown soldiers that was illegally employed to thwart our struggle to enforce the tuition – free regime on campus, this is no self – praise but it’s just beautiful to remember that you aren’t selling the students’ right to robust your financial status like we see today. Yes, my passion for this young man rose when he drove from Kano to Rivers state after the grounding of the aircraft that is suppose to fly him, he defeated fear by putting aside the notorious sect (Boko-Haram) to drive all night to rivers, despite the federal might, the eloquent governor maintained the political ground of his state defeating all macheneries put up against him.
My governor, my governor like the Rivers state people call him stood all grounds to take charge of the house of assembly he once oversaw, oh! I remember my senior police officer, Commissioner Joseph Mbu, the story is just unending.
When the political stage actually got set, his defection along side the other governors took the whole country by surprise, the alliance got the All progressive congress on track then the heat calls the attention of everyone across the world, the politics was said to be set at equilibrium not until Dr. Kayode Fayemi lost the gubernatorial to Mr. Ayo Fayose, everyone was asked what next? The re-election of the Oranmiyan of Osun state or the state of Osun as being reffered elevated some little confidence but along the line, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi was battling with the control of his state, he sleeps with one eye closed, he lives in between the PDP govern states, a betrayer most people of south – south calls him then, my visit to Cross – Rivers gave me an insight to this.
Let’s take a flash back the the GEJ snipers list? as claimed by the former Nigeria president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is Rotimi Amaechi part of this snipers list? The question became a topic of deliberation, as at then, I could remember discussing at a function that the Presidency was an arm of the Peoples democratic party which we hope the incoming government won’t be. The presidency was up against the government of Rivers state using financial hubs against the state knowing that the opposition is now in charge, the greatest mistake of our president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is that he left behind a stone unturned, infact a big stone which later stood as obstacle.
A Babatunde Fashola (SAN) of Lagos state, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Comrade Adams Oshiomole of Edo state, Adesoji Aregbesola of Osun state are just too good in the opposition not forgetting the vibrancy of other opposition Governors. These governors been the colleagues of the pillar of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, is just a good way to go, sometimes I couldn’t imagine missing lecture for one of latter’s rally, I love the praise and worship segment, the dances, the talks and the punch lines which leaves the presidency to respond to.
After a long political jamboree, the March 28th general election as came and gone, winners and losers emerged, Governor Rotimi Amaechi took to a nationwide broadcast begging those he has offended, many reactions to that, he is just too lucky that the opposition party won at the center but he lost his state to his one time ally turned antagonist, Governor – elect Nyesom Wike, madam’s loyalist.
Statement credited to the APC leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu states that Rotimi is the General of common sense revolution, he will move from here to key position.
At the launching of the Amaechi years in Lagos, Asiwaju further posited:
In my view, our gathering to celebrate the landmark achievements of my brother, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, in Rivers State in the last eight years is also another justifiable celebration of idea of Common Sense Revolution for development. The publication of the book, Dynamics of Change: The Amaechi Years is a timely service to history. This occasion is all the more remarkable because of the huge challenges Amaechi has been facing especially in his second term from an extremely hostile federal government. His role as the chairman of the Governors’ Forum invariably brought him into a bitter collision with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Many in the oil rich states of south – south still grumbles that this man called Amaechi made them pay a lot to the loss of the presidency, will he ever be forgiven? This is a question for the near future.
Eniola Opeyemi writes from Badagry, Lagos state.