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Rivers State: Presidential Turmoil In Progress By Onyemaechi Osanakpo

I would start by saying that as a Rivers Man, am ashamed at the childish rancorousness and selfish agenda by Mr. President that has brought him at loggerhead with the Governor of Rivers state. This issue has degenerated to a fight like that between two bulls for a cow. Suffices to say that the crux of the issue between them is already public knowledge, therefore I would only concentrate on the strange but tailored events that unfolded in the Rivers State House of Assembly earlier today.

Ironically, both Mr. President and the Rivers state Governor have similar political challenges in their rise to the present positions they occupy individually. Just for sake of clarity and an exercise to refresh our memory, while Governor Amaechi needed the court to affirm his governorship ticket and subsequent victory after he was notoriously substituted by the PDP with Mr. Omehia, President Jonathan relied on the invocation of the ‘doctrine of necessity’ by the NASS to outwit the dogged resilience of Turai Yar’adua and the loyalist of the Late President Umaru Yar’adua before been sworn-in as President and Commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria. It’s on this goodwill that Nigerians voted him in again in 2011, even as he also promised a wave of fresh air in the political landscape albeit we were still battling with the era of impunity, like in the jungle manner Governors were impeached during the Obasanjo regime and the total disregard to court pronouncements.

It is however a thing of shock, that we seem to be reliving the old era. Trouble started with accusations and counter-accusations about the hidden ambition by Amaechi to deputize Governor Sule Lamido in a Lamido-Amaechi Presidential and Vice-presidential ticket. Though all this is at the level of speculation, this hasn’t stopped President Jonathan from registering his disgust and he has subsequently gone all out to frustrate Amaechi. The NGF election drama was just amongst all the numerous efforts put in so far to get Amaechi begging on his knees. However, the most recent, is the attempt by 5 Rivers state legislators to snatch the assembly Mace, turned it into a weapon and eventually disrupted yesterday’s plenary session turning it into a battle theater.

Though I refuse to join issues, let me categorically state that this is clearly a plot master-minded by the presidency. This I find so petty, undemocratic and should be condemned by all goodly natured Rivers people and Nigerians at large. I’m forced to wonder if this is part of the so-called reformation agenda of Mr. President, that is yet to bring food to the tables of Nigerians, create jobs for the millions of jobless Nigerian graduates, and address the high rate of mother-child mortality, address housing and infrastructural deficit.

How long more do we have to remain suppressed and docile? How do you intend building something on nothing? For starters, if Mr. President is truly a democrat, he should rely on the peoples’ wish and test his popularity through the sanctity of the ballot and not resort to foxy but naïve means to have his way.

Democracy would definitely over-ride and out-live any form of presidential tyranny in Rivers State.  It’s clear Mr. President and his gang of ‘no-goods’ have no respect for the Rivers people. Therefore he should remember that a “tyrant is only a slave turned inside out”. To my fellow Rivers indigene, we should remember that a “palm tree that encourages birds to nest in it, should not cry over shattered leaves”.

Finally, to Nigerians in general, we should all remember that “a clear thinking leader is a sign of stability and an agent for change in society”.

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