• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Governor Amaechi, gird up your loins

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The prevailing political atmosphere in the Treasure Base of the Nation, Rivers State of Nigeria, occasioned by the schemes of desperate politicians who want to take over or have partially taken over the structure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state calls for serious caution, concern and preparedness not only on the part of the inhabitants of Port Harcourt but particularly Governor Amaechi and his loyalists.

That Amaechi is waging a political war at the national level against the presidency – alleged in some quarters to be the brain behind the conception and birth of the “emergency” PDP Governors’ Forum that enthroned Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State governor, as its czar with the ultimate aim of wresting the control of the inclusive Nigerian Governors’ Forum from Amaechi – is no longer news to many who have been following closely the tensed political wave in Rivers State, and by extension Nigeria. It is public knowledge that Amaechi is fighting a home-grown political tussle orchestrated by a few Abuja-based disgruntled politicians of Rivers State stock against the current court-installed state PDP chair, Felix Obuah, and his executive members.

From working to stop Amaechi from emerging as the NGF chairman the second time on May 9, 2013 by creating the off-the-cuff PDP Governors’ Forum, to the sacking of a duly elected chairman of the party in the person of Godspower Ake and his executives who are loyal to Amaechi by an Abuja High Court, to the suspension of Rivers State House of Assembly members by the court-installed Felix Obuah-chaired PDP executive, to the recent grounding of Rivers State-owned aircraft in Akure and the invasion of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council Secretariat by policemen who ordered the chairman of the council’s Caretaker Committee, Dike Chikordi, and others to leave, it is clear there is a grand plan, by those who do not mean well for the state, to throw Rivers State into confusion and anarchy and invariably remove Governor Amaechi.

Just on Monday, May 6, 2013, over 100 buses loaded with pro-Felix Obuah and Nyesom Wike protesters stormed Obio/Akpor Council Secretariat and the Rivers State House of Assembly complex chanting anti-Amaechi songs and calling for the impeachment or rather removal of Governor Amaechi and the reinstatement of the suspended Obio/Akpio chairman, Timothy Nsirim, his deputy and the 17 councillors, among other demands. But, did these protesters who are mainly youths decide on their own to back those angling inordinately to take over the control of affairs in Rivers State? No. It seems the over 100 buses used in the protest were procured by those hell-bent on ousting Amaechi. They are simply rented protesters who have nothing serious to do. What about the police commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, who has allegedly taken sides in this unfolding political tension in Rivers State? When has it become his personal responsibility to provide a unilateral security to the five anti-Amaechi legislators? Is he not acting the script of his paymasters with his recent actions? And how far can these enemies of Rivers State and their backers go in order to achieve their unenviable ambition?

While many have condemned these plots by the powers that be and their hirelings, what is of importance is the opinion expressed by one Kayode Salami, which captured the extent the Nigerian judiciary has descended. “The issues in Rivers State politics, especially with regard to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the PDP, is well known to many Nigerians,” Salami wrote in his piece entitled “Jonathan vs Amaechi: Judiciary in a show of shame”. “What is, however, strange and disturbing in this barefaced verdict is the consequences of this action on our judicial system and consolidation of democracy. The sacked executive, led by Godspower Ake, enjoyed the support of Governor Amaechi while the parallel faction that was recently imposed on the people of Rivers State is loyal to Nyesom Wike, minister of state for education, who incidentally is alleged to have been drafted by the presidency to spearhead this onslaught against the people of Rivers State and their outspoken governor.

“Unknown to many Nigerians, what has turned out to be a judgment usurping the powers of a democratically elected executive is fraught with irregularities and absurdities. For instance, to all intents and purposes, the perceived crisis in Rivers State occasioned by the presidency’s undue interference is serving nobody’s interest. Aside that, this issue that resurfaced in an Abuja High Court is strictly an intra-party matter which presupposes that it would not have been taken to court for adjudication in the first place. More so, the party congress that happened took place in Port Harcourt, not in Abuja. It is therefore inconceivable for a supposedly ‘local’ case to be heard in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and not even the Federal High Court. Lawyers will tell you this is absurdity of the first order.

“Baffling too is the fact that the state congress that produced the Ake-led executive took place in March 2012 and it took almost a whole year for the petitioners to file their case. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was joined in the matter of Obuah and one other versus Ake and others before an FCT high court. By my elementary knowledge of law, this case was clearly filed out of time coming almost a year after the completion of the congress, thus statue barred. The judge also ignored this well-known principle of law and fact and flagrantly abused the dignity of his office.”

With these condemnable plots going on in Rivers State against Amaechi and his loyalists, Amaechi needs not be told to gird up his loins for what is being witnessed in Rivers currently may just be a tip of the iceberg of plots that have already been pre-planned for him. My prognosis: if appropriate measures are not taken to resolve the matter, I foresee a repeat of what happened in Anambra State when former Governor Chris Ngige was kidnapped. Declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers is being anticipated by those who want to remove Amaechi either by hook or crook, and this may come to pass. Another may be the total withdrawal of Amaechi’s security personnel to make him vulnerable to assassination or kidnap. But will these premonitions come to pass? Until then, Rivers State inhabitants are awaiting uneasily how this tensed political atmosphere in the Treasure Base of the Nation will play out.