Amaechi’s Promise to God
By Odimegwu Onwumere
"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God," 2 Corinthians 7:1.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State is now doing well. One unique thing we have observed about him in the recent times is that he has a listening ear, unlike his once posturing of a diehard. His projects in the areas of education, health care, security, urban renewal and provision of infrastructure are meeting his talk, not that he has done very well, and we hope they fully meet their destinations.
What Amaechi calls “my covenant with God” should help him and be his guiding rules to governance. He should always remember this covenant that he would serve the public without any reservation while praying concerning his objective to be governor in 2007. For this reason, perhaps, was why some of his projects are people-oriented. And he should make sure that the ones that are not completed are completed.
This is the time Amaechi should begin to take stock whether his administration was able to meet this covenant with his God or not. Because, it is not always about being out of all proportion striving about projects execution, but about the many that were really executed. However, it is not easy for a government to operate under a hash economy as all the world businesses are facing difficult time since the event that characterized the economic recession. So, it is imperative that Amaechi should look at the financial framework of his government if it is in consonance with the economic reality of today and hence face the reality that are pro-poor and pro-society and eschew others. Government is not all about spending too much money to fund people’s responsibilities, but about the economic aspect why the money was spent.
We thank him for his choice of promise to reduce the pains that parents feel in the state on education by making sure that every child has the opportunity to acquire education. But he should also check if the children are really going to school and if their parents are not suffering the same pains. We knew that he had seen and known pains when he was in the school, and we advise that he should not be far from the people.
Amaechi should in earnest send out genuine people to find out if our Rivers people are really appreciative of what he is doing, because it is hard you read people praising his government again, unlike what they exhibited during his first term as governor, perhaps thinking that he would share money.
Is it because he does not share money that the yesmen outside the corridors of his power once praising him disappeared? Notwithstanding, how long has the people’s expression of sensation of Amaechi’s government been heard? There is a painstaking of people in his first tenure saying that why was Amaechi campaigning for a second term when they believed that his government programmes had touched lives. Therefore, we appeal that he should check today if he is given a third term whether the people will say the same.
Moreover, why did the branding project for Rivers State which was Amaechi’s idea stopped? Have people outside the state killed their unenthusiastic discernment about the state? Are investors no longer afraid to come into the state? Is their confidence about our state rebuilt? Amaechi was once afraid that the consciousness of the residents of Rivers State had been assaulted, and believed that the residents even run for their dear lives even on hearing the sound of fireworks. Thus, the governor was getting people to participate in this branding project through his agents, but quite unfortunate, the branding project has gone oblivion.
The branding project was not supposed to stop, because we need the branding project ambassadors than we need to remind the governor of the ills around. Things like this are supposed to live beyond their pioneers. The people who will attend the schools and hospitals he is building need this awareness to rejuvenate their minds. But, it is unfortunate. There is no how the government will be above the ground without, for a while, touching on those things and areas that put people’s hope on him. What about the town hall meeting with the different towns and villages that Amaechi was organizing and holding with the people? Let him not see it that a lot of the work had been done, whereas some people could be murmuring, but had no voice of their own to say what was on their minds.
Has Rivers State under Amaechi really got any change? We know this government as a government that has told the residents of the residual change it intended. Everybody between 2007-2011 was talking about ‘change’. Have we seen the “Change We Can See”? which was the slogan of Amaechi’s governorship election campaign in 2011. Who is today talking about the government and the projects because we knew that during the 2011 elections there was a division of labour where the campaign job was separated from the job of the state’s Ministry of Information. Does the campaign team remind the governor of the promises he made during that period that might not have been fulfilled, or did it dissolved as soon as Amaechi was announced the winner of the 2011 gubernatorial election in Rivers State? If that team no longer exists, it is haughty.
Amaechi should always have a genuine story to tell on the jobs he has done, and should not be thinking that he has changed the countenance of Rivers State therefore he should relax. No. He should think deeply if he has authentically changed the face of governance in Rivers, and where the state will be when he steps down. He should not feel relaxed, because it is not yet uhuru.
This is the time he should work assiduously for the judge called posterity to pass its verdict when tomorrow comes. He should strengthen himself more and serve the people, because they have no other eyes and ears than him. He should also allow people to participate in the governance if he believes that democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people, because of the covenant he said that he had with his God.
We wish him the best.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State.