Governor Amaechi: Gird up your loins
By Igwe Douglas
The prevailing political atmosphere in the Treasure Base of the nation, Rivers State of Nigeria occasioned by the schemes of desperate politicians who want to take over or have partially taken over the structure of the Peoples Democratic Party calls for serious caution, concern and preparedness not only on the part of the inhabitants of Port Harcourt but particularly to Governor Amaechi and his loyalists.
That Amaechi is waging a political war at the national level against the presidency, who was alleged in some quarters to be the brain behind the conception and birth of the “Emergency” PDP Governors Forum that enthroned Governor Godswill Akpabio as its Czar with the ultimate aim to wrest the control or headship of the inclusive Nigerian Governors Forum from Governor Amaechi is no longer news to many who have been following closely the tensed political wave in Rivers State, and by extension Nigeria, with particular reference to the Presidency. It is public knowledge that Amaechi is fighting a home-grown political tussle orchestrated by a few Abuja based disgruntled politicians of River State Stock, against the current court-installed Rivers State PDP Chair, Felix Obuah and his executive members.
From working to unseat Amaechi from emerging as the Nigerian Governors Forum Chairman the second time, on the 9th of May, 2013, by the creation of the off-the-cuff PDP Governors Forum, to the sacking of a duly elected Chairman of the party in the person of Godspower Ake, and his executives who are loyal to Amaechi by an Abuja High Court, to the suspension of Rivers State House of Assembly members by the court-installed Felix Obuah chaired PDP Executive, coupled with the recent grounding of Rivers State owned aircraft in Akure and the invasion of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council Secretariat by policemen who ordered the Chairman of the council’s Caretaker Committee, Mr Dike Chikordi, and others to leave, are all part of the grand plans, plots and schemes to throw Rivers State into confusion, anarchy and invariably remove Governor Amaechi by those who do not mean well for the State but for their selfish and parochial interests.
Just on Monday, the 6th of May 2013 over 100 buses loaded with pro-Felix Obuah and Nyesom Wike’s protesters stormed Obio/Akpor Council Secretariate and the Rivers State House of Assembly complex chanting anti-Amaechi songs and in the process caused heavy traffic jam in the capital city, and at the same time called for the impeachment or rather the removal of Governor Amaechi and the reinstatement of the suspended Obio/Akpio Chairman, Mr Timothy Nsirim, his deputy and the 17 councillors among other demands. If one may ask, did this youths or protesters decide on their own to back those angling inordinately to take over the control of affairs in Rivers State? No. It seems the over 100 hundred buses that was used according to reports in the protest yesterday was procured by those hell bent on ousting Governor Amaechi. They are simply rented protesters who have nothing serious to do. What about the Police Commissioner, Mr Mbu Joseph Mbu who has allegedly taken sides in this unhealthy unfolding political tension in Rivers State. When has it become his personal responsibility to provide a unilateral security to the Anti-Amaechi led legislators who are five in number? Is he not playing the pre-planned list of his paymasters with his recent actions?
The question is: how far can these enemies of Rivers State and their backers go in order to achieve their unenviable unconscionable ambition?
While many have condemned these plots by the powers that be and its hirelings, what is of importance is the opinion of one Kayode Salami that captured the extent the Nigeria Judiciary has descended in his piece entitled “Jonathan Vs Amaechi: Judiciary in a show of shame” He wrote thus: “The issues in Rivers State politics especially with regard to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the PDP is well known to many Nigerians. What is however strange and disturbing in this barefaced verdict is the consequences of this action on our judicial system and consolidation of democracy. The sacked executive, led by Chief Godspower Ake enjoyed the support of Governor Amaechi while the parallel faction that was recently imposed on the people of Rivers State is loyal to Nyesom Wike, Minister of State for Education who incidentally is alleged to have been drafted by the Presidency to spearhead this onslaught against the people of Rivers State and their outspoken governor.
Unknown to many Nigerians, what has turned out to be a judgement usurping the powers of a democratically elected executive is fraught with irregularities and absurdities. For instance, to all intents and purposes, the perceived crisis in Rivers State occasioned by the presidency’s undue interference is serving nobody’s interest. Aside that, this issue that resurfaced in an Abuja High Court is strictly an intra-party matter which presupposes that it would not have been taken to court for adjudication in the first place. More so, the party congress that happened took place in Port Harcourt, not in Abuja. It is therefore inconceivable for a supposedly “local” case to be heard in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and not even the Federal High Court. Lawyers will tell you this is absurdity of the first order.
Baffling too is the fact that the state congress that produced the Chief Ake led executive took place in March 2012 and it took almost a whole year for the petitioners to file their case. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC was joined in the matter of Obuah and one other versus Chief Ake and others before an FCT high court. By my elementary knowledge of law, this case was clearly filed out of time coming almost a year after the completion of the congress, thus statue barred. The judge also ignored this well-known principle of law and fact and flagrantly abused the dignity of his office”.
But what is Amaechi’s crime? Mr Emmanuel Edukugho may have captured this in his opinion piece in the Vanguard Newspaper of 4th May, 2013 with the title “Clumsy Race to 2015: The Jonathan/Amaechi Face Off”. Here is the link: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/05/clumsy-race-to-2015-the-jonathanamaechi-face-off/
With these condemnable plots going on in Rivers State against Amaechi and his loyalists, Amaechi need not be told to gird up his loins for what is being witnessed in Rivers currently may just be a tip of the iceberg plots that have already been pre-planned for him. My prognosis: I foresee a repetition of what happened in Anambra State when the former Governor, Chris Ngige was kidnapped if appropriate measures are not taking to resolve the situation. Declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers is being anticipated by those who want to remove Amaechi either by hook or crook and this may come to pass. Another may be the total withdrawal of Amaechi’s security personnel to make him vulnerable to assassination or kidnap. But will these premonitions come to pass?
Until then, Rivers State inhabitants are awaiting uneasily how this tensed political atmosphere in the Treasure Base of the nation will play out.
Igwe Douglas wrote in from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.