Politicians live a life of noisy desperation. It is all about how to outsmart, outwit and oust any contrary opposition. Sometimes, what they term as opposition is not opposition in the real sense of the word. They mistake critics or divergent opinions for opposition. This is glaringly what the presidency has taken Governor Chibuiku Amaechi for, because of his unequivocal and unrelenting approach in the business of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), which he heads in the capacity of Chairman.
Down home, because President Goodluck Jonathan is Ijaw, and Amaechi is Ikwerre, many uninformed opinions and politicians from the Ijaw extraction have taken Amaechi to be in a war of slow-destruction against the Ijaws, because he addresses the views of the NGF, many times, challenging the stance of the Federal Government on any national issues.
Some have likened Amaechi as a University Union President who is always challenging the authority. And you wonder if Amaechi is challenging the NGF that made him its chairman or what. To this set of people, they have ignorantly mistaken the presidency as the authority that Amaechi has been challenging, but this is a biased viewpoint. It could have been said to be a challenge if Amaechi had challenged the NGF, which he has not done, and might not do. So, for now, it should be taken that Amaechi has not challenged and is not challenging any authority no matter the quarter that has been hatching this propaganda war against Amaechi.
It was Amaechi that made the NGF a formidable force it has become today, not to scuttle the presidency, but for the aspirations and objectives of the NGF. Happily, Amaechi and majority of the governors that consist the NGF are members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). If Amaechi were in the opposition it can be brought home the speculation making the rounds that he is against Jonathan. How can he be against Jonathan when virtually 85% of the NGF’s members are PDP? It will not be out of contest to say that it is not Amaechi or the NGF that is desperate in the on-going politics, but the presidency. The unfolding reports between Amaechi and the risky-in-nature plot by the presidency to oust him as the chairman of NGF are clear indications that the presidency does not want any challenge from any quarters, but loyalists. Juxtaposing to this, one may say that such calculation is despotic, which is not what democracy represents.
It cannot be said that this is democracy, if Amaechi’s opinions representing that of the NGF are termed the enemy’s, because of certain interest group for the 2015 elections. Does anybody think that Amaechi has anything to lose if his purported quest to be re-elected as the NGF’s chair fails? No. He has nothing to lose, but the NGF that will be manipulated to have a stooge of the presidency as chairman.
Considerably, the fight against Amaechi started when the news from the rumour mills started to circulate that he was nursing the ambition for the presidency in 2015, as a possible running-mate to Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, which he has rebuffed several times. Somebody might say that before the news started circulating it had been mirrored through the presidency’s intelligence mirror, but why still tag that on his neck when he has declared publicly that there was nothing of that kind in his political career, at least, for now.
What Nigerians expect from Jonathan is to meet the yearnings of the populace, and not the meetings with the PDP on how to oust Amaechi; hence a splinter group named PDP Governors Forum emerged. Would they also throw Amaechi out of this splinter group since he is a member of the PDP? If the presidency is blunt to Amaechi, it should know that it is also blunt to the people of Rivers State that Amaechi governs; no strategy that was meant to dampen any opinion that is not tyrannical!
As far as the NGF is concerned, any of its members that is seeking loyalty to the presidency can be regarded as a traitor. The loyalty of any member of any group should be for the group and not the other. In this case, there is no gainsaying the fact that the presidency is also a strong opposition to the NGF, without the later knowing it. What was expected of the NGF’s members to do was to question the right the presidency had in interfering in its matter. If Amaechi will go, it has to be done by the members of the NGF, and not by any wandering aggressors.
Anybody viewing the NGF as an arm of the ruling PDP, therefore, the presidency has the right to interfere, is not just being truthful. If this is not true, why have there been speculations that the Czar of the NGF might come from an opposition party if by tomorrow Amaechi did not emerge chairman the second time. Though, as it stands, Amaechi has proved that he also knows how to fight, and not only how to talk. Since Thursday 21 February, when the first ‘political coup’ was staged against Amaechi, he and his men have succeeded in fighting to retain the image of the NGF.
Written by Odimegwu Onwumere
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV).
Email: [email protected], [email protected]