By Odimegwu Onwumere
Encomiums are being poured. On March 9, 2012, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State threw in one. He spoke well of the Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi. That was during a grand reception organised in his honour by the Imo Development Partners and Imo Indigenes in Rivers, at the Community Secondary School, Nkpolu, Port Harcourt.
In the words of Governor Okorocha: Your Excellency, I must take notice of the political, judicial and social indices of your performance in Rivers State. What you are doing in Rivers State has not been seen before. Thank you very much. So Governor Amaechi, we are in competition now for doing so well. I have seen how happy my people are here. It means that Governor Amaechi is taking good care of them. I want to also thank you…. Imo and Rivers States share a common boundary and the part that Governor Amaechi and I should play is to ensure that these two states become one in terms of road connection and all activities.
Okorocha’s commendation of Governor Amaechi for bringing democratic dividends to Rivers people for he called, his proportionate deeds in infrastructural development of the state, was the aftermath commendation of Amaechi whom many where ecstatically yet to recover from the passionate role he played during the recent burial of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the Ikemba Nigeria. (Post mortem award. Mine).
Reiterating, Governor Amaechi promised his supervision’s support to maintain those doing business in the state and to work together with the Governor Okorocha, in areas the two governors need to partner to develop together.
Politics in Nigeria is the most controversial in the world democracies. Just on May 10, 2012, Labour Day Celebration, many states in the country were nerves-quaked when news filtered into the air that the National Labour Congress (NLC) had issued a strike notice because some states refused to pay the parleyed new Minimum Wage. Reportedly, the outspoken Governor Amaechi, fired his salvo, saying that the Labour Union Leaders, were self-absorbed in their activities. Hence, he challenged NLC on sensible management of human and material resources, because the problem of Nigeria was not always with the leaders.
At the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, the Governor said publicly that his administration has undeniably revitalized the ailing economy and brought about security and hope. He used the parameter that investors were coming into the state to buttress his assertions. We may agree that the people are not competing with the government’s constitutions because people are not totally law abiding. And this was what Amaechi pinpointed that the government is doing its best to put the system right. It could further be added that the people are the system breakers, because if you go around the cities, you will agree with the governor that there is lawlessness. There are street markets which don’t allow free flow of traffic, even when the government builds market for people to relocate, they are deafly recalcitrant to do so.
How else would a government get the needed result when its people are not following and respecting laws and order? Not only the street traders which have become a recurring nuisance in the system, there are drivers who drive opposite the traffic. Is Amaechi a traffic offender?
While this article was not tended to praise or support Amaechi, we must believe that there are glaring achievements in any government, no matter that critics always see the ERRORS always. The governor has promised to bring in the TUC and NLC in the Board appointments. This is to gain from their qualities and has promised to build a befitting secretariat for the NLC and TUC in the State, the same way he confessed that he was so impressed by the type of primary schools built by his administration.
In that regard, there was a report that Governor Amaechi had approved the employment of additional 10,000 teachers this year, with target at furthering the manpower in the educational sector. So, it is imperative that all and sundry must join hands and collaborate with his administration in transforming every sectors in the state. We are overstuffed with the news of corruption that has bedeviled the civil servants. Not only the NLC, we all must look inwards and devise a means to fashion employment.
It was of note that Amaechi noted that one way his administration has devised to create jobs was through the Public/Private Partnership (PPP), which he said that the state had recorded success already with the policy: with Pabod Breweries and Risonpalm, which were expected to create 5,000 jobs, during the period it is finally given the kiss of life.
It is even amazing to hear that Labour always cry about “the increasing unemployment”. This brings one to question the purpose of forming NLC in the first place. Is it to riot the government or to labour in making sure that the citizens are always save with employments without any repose on the government? Is it not time we take our fate in our hands?
It is the idea of joining unionism with politics that have swelled the nation’s security, unity and democracy lapses, not the obverse. While groups or persons have lauded Amaechi for his achievements so far, it is time the NLC in the state should urge its members to in like manner consolidate on achieving for the state as said of Amaechi.
We wish Amaechi the best, especially as he was appointed Malaria Ambassador by Health Ministry.
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.