During his foray in active politics, at his mid twenties, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi remained one politician who has maintained unflinching loyalty to friendship and and age long association. When Governor Ada George and Peter Odili, as deputy governor held sway in the political space of Old Rivers State, CRA , as a young school leaver , then, joined this political train and became instrumental to bring his friends and closest allies aboard to join the movement. As a Special Adviser to Ada George and Personal Assistant to Peter Odili, Amaechi mobilised his friends within and outside to support his former bosses. He did this across the LGAs in the State. At the time that era abruptly came to an end through the military intervention of Late General Sani Abacha , Amaechi still kept his friends close by to monitor the new wave of development in the political arena.
Of course, we knew how General Sani Abacha bestrode as a colossus and occupied every available political space in his self-succession plan. Unfortunately to Abacha and his handful of supporters , luck outran them as he fell down and succumbed to death. His death signalled another opening of the political space. In this era, Amaechi joined his boss ( Sir Dr. Peter Otunaya Odili) whom he mobilised his friends for. Luckily for him, Dr. Peter Odili became the Governor of Rivers State ( May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007) and subsequently, Rotimi Amaechi was , also, elected into the Rivers State House of Assembly to represent Ikwerre Constituency. He was elected to become the Speaker of the House for eight uninterrupted years. As a result of his fast rising profile and pragmatic approach to leadership and his result oriented personality, he was elected as Chairman of the Conference of the Speakers of State Houses of Assembly for two terms. As Speaker of all Speakers, he used this avenue to widen his scope and cast his fishing net beyond the shores of Rivers State, in his bid , to succeed his boss. Amaechi leveraged on his cordial relationship with Peter Odili to build for himself a political dynasty or a formidable force to reckon with. This political machinery facilitated his emergence as Governor of Rivers State, against all odds. He waged a political war against the opponents within and outside, the Abuja forces or cabal . By a dint of Divine Favour, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, on October 25th, 2007 delivered a Landmark Judgement, where Amaechi was declared as the duly elected governor of the April 12th, 2007 gubernatorial election in Rivers State and not the usurper, his cousin, Sir Celestine Ngozichim Omehia ( Esq).
As a governor, Rotimi Amaechi made a roll call of all his old friends, assembled them and brought them into government to occupy and dominate the political space in Rivers State. He appointed them as Chief of Staff, Secretary to the State Government, Commissioners, Advisers and Special Assistants, Heads of Government Boards and Agencies , MDAs, and singlehandedly bankrolled their elections into the NASS, State House of Assembly, Local Government Area Chairmen and other juicy positions. Some of them were awarded contracts that ran into billions of naira. He gave them a free hand to operate as he never demanded any kickbacks from them.
In a speed of light, he made his friends millionaires and billionaires overnight. Those who could not afford a three square meal daily, then, could now, buy choice property in any part of the World and began to acquire humongous wealth. Some of them are even much richer than him in any ramification. He has lost their genuine loyalty but a few still feign to be ” loyal” and committed to his cause. It’s heartbreaking that he made his friends but they ( in return) have intentionally refused to empower or make their followers too.
For us, Amaechi’s Achilles’s heels stem from his mindless recycling of his overfed, unproductive and lazy old friends into political posts or positions of trust. If he intends to shine or score more goals in the forthcoming political tournament or soccer of 2023, he has to overhaul his team of Committee of Friends and recruit young, vibrant,and intelligent footsoldiers. If he fails to hearken to the voice within, he might be heading for the rocks.
Events of the recent past have demonstrated and proven that the successes recorded by the CRA Old School of Politics were masterminded by his estranged friends of today- Governor E.N Wike, and Distinguished Senator Magnus Ngei Abe and their supporters. To clear some doubting Thomases, ever since , these men left, what much have been achieved? It has been a tale of woes. From one electoral woes to another, the group has not recorded any political feat again. I am aware that some political jobbers or ” faceful”, sycophantic, eye service politicians would kick at this point. But, let the truth be told. As we speak, CRA is the one man doing what over a thousand men ought to be doing. While this trend continues, the ” loyal” men around him remain watchful to monitor when he releases a kobo and they will share same immediately. These same men have refused to tell him that his army of supporters at the grassroots are hungry and angry!
If he ( CRA) refuses to do something urgently, either to genuinely reconcile with his estranged friends and allies- Governor E.N Wike, and Abe and their team or recruit new capable hands , empower them and retire his old, unproductive and voracious friends, then, he should be getting ready to be unceremoniously retiring from national politics come 2023. No doubts, he has a striking or excellent track record of monumental achievements as a governor and today, as the Best Performing Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. THIS IS NOT IN CONTENTION. LOVE OR HATE HIM! If the truth must be told and human conscience to be liberated, he has to do something to ameliorate the level of grinding poverty among his followership at home. It is much more painful that whatever he gives to the grassroots through his ” loyal” friends do not get to its destination or target audience. There are a thousand and one graduates who are jobless and restless too. Let him begin to think of new ways of reengaging these productive population. CRA must know that his first eleven has failed and as a good coach, he does not need to consult any oracle to change the team and bring up a new one or better still, retire those overfed members of the old team and inject new blood into them. These old pals tell him bunches of lies and quite unfortunately, he believes them. At their LGA levels and Wards, these so called leaders oppress, suppress or marginalise some forceful supporters who have what it takes to deliver and make a difference. Why has CRA not asked those unproductive folks to name one or two party members or supporters they have made or empowered? After making so much billions of naira , they share a little token in thousands and then, make a whole lot of hellic noise about that.
The cabal of friends has blindfolded him so much more that the few good ones amongst them have been shortchanged and cut off. Of a truth, there are still some good ones in that old circle who have a heart of gold and willing to assist the less privileged but the evil men have blocked them from accessing CRA. I am not unaware that this article will choke the bad eggs in their gullets but as the mouthpiece of the oracle, I must continue to state the obvious. If the rumours of 2023 are anything to hold on to, let him disband this current team and reconcile with his estranged friends who are workaholics, tacticians, strategists and the brain boxes of his successful political history. He is s child of destiny and Divine Grace and I pray that the grace guides him correctly this time around. Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi must know that his ” loyalists” cum friends lie a lot that is why they have become a symbol of truth.