NewsReel 10/11/14 - Governor Rotimi Amechi Vs Dame Patience Jonathan: An Irresponsible Leadership?

[ Masterweb Reports: Steve Ochonma reports ] - I read online on Sunday October 24th, on Naij.Com news, an article entitled: Governor Amechi Reveals shocking truth about what caused Enemity between himself and Dame Patience Jonathan. In the said piece, Amechi was quoted to have said During the 1st graduating Ceremony of the Ignatius Ajuru University of  Education, Rumuolumeni, River State, on October 24th as  follows: “Remember when I  become governor, I  fought militancy….., and chased  the  militants away. Some of them went to Lagos, Ivory Coast, Ghana, etc., today; they are back, because the wife of the president brought them back to protest against me. I refused  to give them money in Abuja  because , if  I  do that  I won’t  be  able to carry out  any development  project…….,  the quarrel between me and the wife of the president is because she said I should  bring  your  money, Rivers  people’s money  and share  with her’.


Amechi also alleged further that the Federal government under president Jonathan has been unfair to Rivers State, refusing to carry out any project in Rivers State, and that the East-west road is now being reconstructed only  because he had to “abuse” the Federal government. He also alleged that Jonathan had taken Oil wells from Soku in Rivers State and gave same to Bayelsa State, and that 41 Oil wells in Etche in Rivers State have also been given to Abia State, and asked if President Jonathan is from Abia.


But the height of Amechi irresponsibility and insensitivity was to be seen from his incitement of the young graduates. According to Amechi “you should be careful of who you vote into power come 2015. If you vote President Jonathan back into power in next year’s general elections, Rivers State economy would crumble. Why do they want us to suffer? If President Jonathan comes back to power in 2015, Rivers State economy will crash’.


What could be more inciting and fear mongering than those statements credited to a governor of the Federal republic of Nigeria, all in the name of cheap politics. One would have thought that Amechi would tell us the bad policies and actions of President Jonathan that have impacted negatively on the economy of Rivers state. And submit the program of his new party aimed at addressing those policies, thereby giving us reasons to vote for change in 2015. To resort to cheap blackmail is disgusting and would not woo voters to the side of opposition. It also exposes Amechi and Co as desperadoes who have something to lose personally if Jonathan continues in office beyond 2015. The choice of whether Jonathan stays beyond 2015 or not is not Amechi’s but that of Nigerian voters. Amechi was showing the wrong example of leadership to those young graduates of Ajuru University and solving seed of discord. Again that was not a political gathering so Amechi should have chosen his words carefully.


Not only was  Amechi’s account of the  Soku and  Etche Oil wells fabrication lies, it was  morally wrong for Amechi to bring that  up in such  a  forum, knowing full well  that  he  was  lying. The court records are there for any sincere investigator to verify. The Oil well in Soku belonged to Bayelsa as  the court has decided, all Amechi could  do  is  Appeal up to the Supreme Court for  reversal of the  judgment, or appeal to God as was the case  in Amechi vs Omehia. He should remember that he was not on that ballot and so God would not have giving a stolen mandate through the   back door. Amechi should  have  known as speaker of  Rivers house  of  Assembly for  8 years  and  now  governor for  7 years, that  it  was  Obasanjo who constituted  a  panel to look into dispute between neighboring states regarding Oil wells  ownership. These disputes involved Akwa-Ibom and Rivers, Rivers and Imo, Rivers and Abia, and Rivers and Bayelsa.


The report of the panel is there for everyone to see and read, so why politicize these issues. Rivers State had enjoyed the proceeds from the Oil well belonging to her neighbors, which were wrongly credited to her, over the years and still do till date. For Instance, all the oil wells under SPDC’s operation designated as Obigbo North is actually in “Imo gate” in Abia State. But Rivers State still receives money from Federal government on them till date, so if some of the injustices melted to Abia is being reversed now, how does that amount to unfairness. The victim in this Oil well dispute is Abia and certainly not Rivers.


When Barr. Nyesom Wike was   the Chief of staff, Rivers government house, he has alleged to have been involved in corrupt practices. An allegation, the EFEC was to investigate. In the midst of the outcry that  followed Wike’s purported investigation, Amechi-who had  previously stated that  after  God, the  next person he owes gratitude to was Mr. Nyesom  Wike, threatened the  EFEC and  Federal government,  that  if  Mr. Wike  was to be arrested, Rivers  people will resist it with their  blood. The same Amechi was to reverse himself later to say that Mr Wike is indeed corrupt  and has not executed contracts awarded to him by him to the tune of billions of Naira, up to date and queried why such a person should aspire to be Governor.


He warned “Rivers people” not to allow PDP or Mr Wike to win the election in 2015. One could see from the foregoing that Amechi is wavering, unstable and insensitive, saying one thing at a point and another later as it suits him. He only calls upon his so called “Rivers People” when he needs to fight personal enemies.


It was alleged that Amechi have given contract to his Cohorts running into several billions of naira without due process. He was said to have bypassed the ministries in awarding bogus contracts to friends and family and pay for jobs upfront. One would have considered such claims erroneous and a handiwork of his political detractors, but the Governor himself seems to have confirmed all that by admitting to have given Wike those contracts. Mr. Wike was never a construction contractor before Amechi’s government so how did he become on overnight, and why were “Rivers people” not consulted prior to those awards. Now he remembers that the money he had been throwing away belongs to Rivers people. It does not seem Amechi is a frugal spender, no sooner was he sworn in as Governor, than he sold the two aircrafts bought “brand new” by his predecessor to other state governments and leased another from the Bank of Utah in the USA for himself purporting to have bought it for  Rivers State. As I write, the opposition in the state are still asking question on the proceeds from those two aircraft and   the billions of dollars appropriated for the purchase of another aircraft for Amechi, by the state house. I am not aware that a account of stewardship on those transactions have been rendered, to “Rivers people. So he should not involve the Rivers people now in his personal fight with Mr. Wike and Dame Patience Jonathan. They all will answer to us- the authentic “Rivers People” at the appropriate time.


In the midst of all these glaring proof of Amechi wastefulness, how does he want us to believe that the issue between him and the first lady of Nigeria is money? Amechi is reported to be the chief financer of APC, Weather that is true or not we are yet to ascertain. Ameachi has  given out to cohorts more money under various disguise than any other Governor  I know of today in Nigeria, and most of those  who  benefitted from  the Ameachi  largese in the last 3 years, at least, are non “Rivers People. So if the first    Daughter of the state asked for help from her “younger brother”, why should that bring quarrel? So Amechi would rather starve Rivers Daughter and give to cohorts?


How can Amechi convince us that the first lady asked him for money and for what purpose? I don’t think any wife of the President of Nigeria that we know of is a poor person, with all the access to fund at their disposal. Who did the first lady sent to Amechi? Was Amechi to bring cash, pay money into   a   bank account or give contract to the first lady? The Governor of Rivers state also alleged that the wife of the president brought back the militants to the state to protest against him. Who are  these  militants, how did the first lady bring them  back, and  why would  she  want to bring them back, and  why would  she want to bring Amechi down, is  she  running for  Governor in 2015, what exactly Is her  interest in protesting against Amechi. Those are questions that we need answers to, and from the Governor. Ameachi needs to enlighten us on these, or in the absent of concrete proof, just retrace his footstep and apologies to the woman. We expect a Governor of a state to b sensitive and responsible in both his words and deeds and not to act like an ordinary street person. That’s the kind of example that those University of Education graduates needs. To do otherwise is highly irresponsible and a “motor park” leadership.

Steve Och

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