MasterwebNews 2/6/16 - Amechi: 51 Garlands To The New Face of Democracy In Nigeria

[ Masterweb Reports: Eze Chukwuemeka Eze reports ] - Preamble: My good friend and political leader, Minister of Transportation, Rt.  Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who piloted with other great Nigerians the ousting of the last looting PDP Administration under the watch of Dr Goodluck Jonathan that ruined and brought our country to her knees, will by this Friday, May 27, 2016 clock 51. Silver and gold have I none to give this man of the moment but, at least, I can pay him a tribute by chronicling how he emerged from humble circumstances to become one of the shapers of modern Nigerian politics within his first 51 years of sojourn on earth. This enigma of a man, whose antics and antecedents in politics defers proper definition is, to most watchers of political evolution of Nigeria, the ‘new face’ of Nigeria politics, while to others he is one of the main pillars in which the administration of the no-nonsense and czar of anti-corruption virus in Nigeria relies upon. As a close friend who has watched him from close quarters over a long period of time, I will attempt to expose what makes him tick politically, and how he piloted the unseating of a sitting president and a political party that prided itself as the largest in Africa.  





This mystery man’s tie with the destiny of Rivers State is mysterious and different from that of any other political leader from the state. He is the only political leader so far who has played a key role in shaping the political future of the state, who shares the same birthday with the state. Whilst he was born on May 27, 1965, Rivers State was created two years after, on May 27, 1967, by the administration of General Yakubu Gowon. This, somehow, underscores why his commitment towards the emancipation and development of the state is total and unique.





With this devilment, one can easily understand why Amaechi is so much attached to the future of most children of this nation, through offer of qualitative and free education from primary to the highest level of education and the affairs of his beloved State, Rivers. 





Another unique thing about this great leader is that he shares the same date with the day on which Nigeria celebrates Children’s Day. Inspired by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Federal Government of Nigeria decided in 1964 – a year to the birth of Amaechi – to set aside May 27 every year as Nigeria’s Children’s Day. On this special day, the whole nation celebrates the Nigerian Child and the Federal Government declares a public holiday for schools across the country. The day is usually marked with fanfare: featuring dances, singing by children in colourful dresses and youth parades considered by many as the highlights of the day





 Governor Amaechi’s Humble Beginnings



The family of Amaechi in Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, was on May 27, 1965 blessed with the birth of a son who unbeknownst to all would become a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s political firmament even before his 501st birthday. He was named Chibuike, which means ‘God is all Powerful’ and Rotimi, an abridged version of Oluwadurotimi, meaning ‘the Lord stands by me’, while Amaechi means ‘who knows tomorrow?’ Remember the popular phrase, what is in a name? One does not need to be a sage to know that all the meanings embedded in his name are playing out in the acts and arts of politics in Amaechi’s life. 



Amaechi, as he himself has unequivocally said on several occasions, was not born into opulence. As a child his family experienced real hardship and he admits going through several challenges that have helped to shape his perception of life. His determination to ensure equal access to education for every Rivers child and bridge the gap between the privileged and underprivileged children in the state is unprecedented. Whenever the occasion demands, Amaechi would not hesitate to point out that though he came from an underprivileged background, his was a modest family that inculcated in him the virtues of honesty, humility and sheer doggedness to succeed. 



To give an insight into some of the experiences he had to go through in order to be educated and which perhaps may very well be the reason behind his passion to provide free education for all children in the state, rich and poor during his period s Governor of Rivers State, Amaechi said in an interview: “I don’t know how many people in my cabinet that could have experienced poverty like I did. I grew up at No.18, Chibu Street. I moved from there to Nnamdi Azikwe. Later, I lived with one of my friends in one of the creek villages near Port Harcourt. And I knew that my parents suffered a lot. With tears, they were looking for money to pay for my school fees, buy me uniforms, bags and all that. When I was in the university, I used to tell the girls that ‘none of you looked at my face because I was wearing one shirt, one pair of trousers almost every day with a sandal’. On Fridays, we would wash it and we wouldn’t move out at all on Saturday to enable it dry; Sam Okah and myself. Then it would dry on Saturday, but on Sunday, we were back to life; wearing the same shirt and the same trousers. How many of those in the cabinet passed through that?” This is the pathetic story of the man that is driven by unquenchable passion for a better Rivers State. 



Amaechi’s Rise to Power and Legacy as Governor of Rivers State



Amaechi became Governor of Rivers State in October

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