Highlights

AMAECHI IS BUHARI’S LITMUS TEST.

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It was widely hoped in Rivers State and beyond that President Buhari would name Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers State as  Secretary to Government of the Federation SGF. When he did not, many were disappointed and just as many cheered. Amaechi arouses strong responses in people. Most of his followers love him and followers of the current governor Nyesom Wike mostly dislike him. Nobody from the Niger Delta contributed more than Amaechi to President Jonathan’s 2011 presidential election victory and nobody in 2015 out performed him in bringing about the crash of Jonathan. Nobody invested more soul, sweat and I daresay resources into Buhari’s victory. His determination to risk everything in going up against Jonathan baffled many. He was not scared to be identified as the Niger Deltan who destroyed the second term ambition of Nigeria’s first president of Niger Delta extraction. This role has earned him the contempt of a cross section of Niger Delta people especially in Rivers State. He has paid a lot for taking this road while Buhari has been the major beneficiary of this.
Though Amaechi was, like other second term governors, a master of the politics of his state his party and candidates were emphatically crushed at the 2015 elections. This was allegedly due to the brigandage masterminded by Governor Wike and backed to the hilt by a certain Patience Jonathan. After unceremoniously ending his tenure which was marked by massive development in infrastructure especially in the Ikwerre country, Amaechi was suddenly overtaken by a political wilderness, accused by his successor of looting the Government House and then further accused of looting the Rivers Government treasury. Unfortunately, Amaechi did not help matters by refusing to show up at the judicial panel set up by his nemesis Governor Nyesom Wike nor has he bothered to put up a comprehensive defence regarding those allegations. Indeed, Wike was only taking a page out of Amaechi’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission project which had hounded Dr. Peter Odili, mentor to every governor that has ruled Rivers State since 2007.
Right or wrong, Amaechi spearheaded the destruction of the fortunes of the PDP as a ruling party, the downfall of the only Niger Delta man to make president. Amaechi made himself indispensable to the business of achieving Buhari’s presidential victory. He has naturally faced a backlash for being in the eyes of the Rivers majority who supported Jonathan, a Judas. After he was not named as SGF, a lot of his friends agreed painfully while his foes celebrated that there was no other position left in the Buhari administration that could sufficiently compensate him for his super human war effort and sacrifice for Buhari’s victory. His foes had worried about the kind of power he would have wielded over the Rivers landscape as SGF.
If the level of contribution to Buhari’s victory was the criterion for sharing the spoil, Amaechi should be nominating ministers and not struggling to be one. A strong president can always prevail on the senate to confirm a certain minister. Amaechi’s ministerial confirmation is a public litmus test for Buhari. It will indicate whether President Buhari knows how to pay back, even a little and one is certainly not recomending a pay back for foes. After the business of ministerial confirmation, those who put themselves on the line for Buhari will know whether he is worth the sacrifice or not.

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