Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State lost a significant amount of public respect and goodwill in June 2013 with his display of immaturity at a dinner with President Jonathan hosting two visiting Heads of State. The Governor arrived late, after Mr President was seated, and further attempted to breach more protocol by approaching his boss. He was dutifully checked by the security aide and asked politely to return to his seat. In diplomatic and Government settings, this breach of protocol is a faux pas.
This singular action by the Governor was a clear indication of a self induced hypnotic delusion of relevance in the history of governance in Nigeria. His further egotistical approach to issues continued with his latest decamping to the opposition party after participating in obvious anti-party activities, and his sham outing at their inauguration event in Porth Harcourt. which he considered successful in terms of turnout. His decamping came after his daily shenanigans bordering on infantile tantrums and false alarms over his security, to claims of being denied access to Government House. In the meantime, his security aide and supporters like Chidi Lloyd played out brutish gangster-type violence on Nigerians while he kept playing the role of victim in his well orchestrated reaction to the rule of law asking questions.
Today, the latest episode of the Governor is his recent reproach of a traditional ruler over the laters fatherly and respected opinion on the Presidency`s approach to finding peaceful solutions to a forced lingering dispute between two states, over right of ownership of oil wells.
The story goes like this. Shell Petroleum (SPDC) operated an Oil Well(Soku) in Rivers State and it was named after a community where their operational base was situated, not named after the immediate host community. This seems to be normal practice with SPDC, and indeed the popular Oloibiri oil well is not situated in Oloibiri but in Otuabagi village in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.. The room for Governor Amaechi`s mischievousness comes from the creation of Bayelsa State. In creating the new state and mapping out boundaries, Soku Oil Well is located in Bayelsa State, not Rivers State. This fact is irrefutable and backed with legal documents. So why is Governor Amaechi laying claims to Soku Oil Well?
The name Soku belongs to a community in Rivers State some ten kilometers as the crow flies away from the Oil Well. It is at Soku that the operational base of the Oil Well is located. The immidiate communities of Oluasiri, Etukekiri, Ijawkiri, Fredkiri, Adokonikiri etc are all in Nembe LGA of Bayelsa State and are captured under electoral ward 13 consituency of Nembe LGA of Bayelsa State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). There are legal documents and submissions from committes of well respected and qualified Nigerians cutting across Geopolitical zones, ethnicity, religion, and tribe showing and stating clearly that Soku Oil Well belongs to Bayelsa State.
For the avoidance of doubt, this issue has been properly addressed and findings documented by the Obasanjo administration in 2004 when Governor Amaechi was Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly and President Jonathan was Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State. Surely, the Governor is aware of the truth and the true position of the Soku Oil Well. So it is clear and unambigous that Soku Oil Well belongs to Bayelsa State and is indeed on Bayelsa land. Now, what does Governor Amaechi hope to achieve with his deliberate blindness? What are his expectations from neighboring communities that have an unfortunate but not uncommon history of disagreements in the past, after his improper remarks about the traditional ruler?
It is obvious to most observers that Governor Amaechi is no longer in control of his actions. No sane member of a family throws stones at his home and expects to sleep peacefully in it. Having carried out his ill advised but personal decision to decamp, it seems he has promised more than he can deliver to his new bed mates in the opposition party. It is also obvious that he is being spurred on by people who have nothing to lose in the event of a breakdown of law and order in the erstwhile restive Niger Delta communities that are all linked with a fine thread of cultural affinity. It is expedient on the press therefore to take up this challenge and make it crystal clear to readers, listeners and genuine seekers of as much of the truth as possible that Governor Amaechi is a drowning man clutching at straws.
When people understand that communities in the Niger Delta have been enjoying relative peace and harmony since the brokered Amnesty peace deal, they may now appreciate the negative aspect of outside influence in the scheme of things in the region as it attempts to create tension, unease and violence once again. This plot hopefully has failed as it is simply dead on arrival. Amaechi may continually provoke sentiments with his deceptive role of a harangued pussy cat that does nothing more than mew and purr at feeding time which is however far from the truth. He is stoking already dying embers of mistrust hate and deceit in the Niger Delta and in particular, Bayelsa State, which has successfully overcome dire security situations and maintained a steady confidence from the populace for close to two years.
Amaechi is associating with disgruntled politicians who have everything to gain from chaos and blood letting of innocent people in the Niger Delta. As the Niger Delta is Nigeria`s soft underbelly in terms of the resources derived from the land, it is wise to put the entire region on alert. The shoddy arrangement that is the supposed ACN led administration of Governor Amaechi is toying with madness on an unprecedented scale. The best example of this is what is playig out in Southern Sudan today where brothers are about taking up arms against each other, not for idealogical differences but simply because leaders are not sincere enough to avert violence.
This is certainly what Governor Amaechi represents; destruction. Amaechi has no right, title or legal claim to Soku Oil Well and he is spoiling for violence simply because he has likely promised his new party, “Oil money” which unfortunately is not his to give out. Kindly take time to read the below document and make up your own mind as Amaechi is hellbent on creating chaos and anarchy ,all because of his perceived greed and lust for political relevance.
Ejiro Eghagha, writer , social commentator.
Following repeated and deliberate propaganda by the Governor of Rivers State against the Federal Government, the Government and good people of Bayelsa State, aimed at distorting historic and legal facts and designed to incite the people of Rivers State against their brothers, it has become necessary for us to again reiterate some salient facts about the unfortunate boundary dispute between the people of Nembe and Kalabari clans both of the Ijaw Nation, which dispute started in the 1920s.
There is a city in Southeastern Mexico located on the Caribbean Sea. In 1970, there were less than a thousand people living on this beautiful Peninsula. There had been disease outbreaks, issues of sea piracy, and a fair share of drug trade in the area in the past and like every other place faced with such negative situations, populations dropped and the place was more or less bare.
However, the Mexican Government saw the future of Tourism quite early and in a bid to attract foreign investors to the naturally beautiful Islands and Peninsula, financed the first nine hotels in the area. That city is Cancun, and today it is arguably one of the top ten destinations for visitors worldwide. Tourism in Cancun is not just a business, it is a lifestyle that sustains over 12,000 hotel rooms and attracts more visitors than The Bahamas, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Major challenges facing development in Cancun included its distance to Mexico city, which was over 1,000 miles away, lack of trained manpower to sustain development of Tourism and a dearth of modern transportation including a functional highway to open up the area. This aside, Cancun rose out of nothing and is something spectacular today. Cancun and Dubai have one thing in common. Nobody believed anything good could come out of both.
Back home here, on the Islands of Bayelsa State, there are major issues of connecting roads for easy access to tourist sites. as well as security concerns that are thankfully being tackled head-on by Governor Dickson`s administration with glaring results in over just a year in office. Then again if you have not been to any of the Islands, you may not understand why waterway transportation needs to be seen as a viable option to road transportation.
After visiting three Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State, Brass, Nembe and Ogbia as part of Governor Dickson`s Thank You Tour, it is evident that the Dickson Administration has keyed in to a salient fact about Tourism development. Yes, we all need infrastructure and signposts of modernity, but before all of that, we need education. We need enlightened people to take over managing our long term investments. In this regard, Bayelsa State has laid down the building block properly. There is no doubting the effort of the Government to boost the education sector.
This, is a major and futuristic plus with international scholarships, infrastructure development in schools and partnerships with foreign institutions to train Bayelsan`s, and expose the few who will benefit from educational exchange schemes and programs to the possibilities of development seen around the world.
Also, if this administration takes tourism seriously as it has shown early promise already, heavy investments in Hotels and Resorts on a couple of Islands will be inevitable. In as much as the State capital is booming with construction works of all sorts, the future of business and commerce in Bayelsa cannot be excluded from the Islands.
Beautiful Bayelsa is one part of the Niger Delta that holds so much promise for the future. If only we the people can be brought up to speed with the implications of peace and security. Government cannot do it all alone, we the people have to embrace peace and develop security. We have to manage our communities better.
Governor Dickson is faced with an enormous task of delivering first class facilities as a platform for attracting real investors. It is surmountable. It is do-able. It is very possible. However, it will take some investing in educating the people about a future based on peace and security, and making us understand and appreciate how Local Government Areas can have over a hundred standard hotels operating at good capacity and thus provide employment and commercial boom for the Islands.
Bayelsa State Government seems to be on track with the suggestion by the Governor that a Stadium is proposed for BrasS LGA. That Stadium will require support services of hotels and restaurants in the long run. Another Island will need hotels and restaurants to support Africa`s largest Aqua Tunnel if built for example, or the biggest hotel in the Niger Delta area with accompanying entertainment options. We only have to dream big and put our minds to achieving big feats.
I dare say a visionary leader can not do without intellectual and experienced support from his team. This thankfully is not lacking presently in Bayelsa State. There is every reason to believe in the future of the state therefore. It will be enlightening to see the potentials of other LGA`s in the state and I look forward to the next phase of the Thank You Tour with eager expectations.
I look forward to beautiful Bayelsa, The Glory of All Lands.
Ejiro Eghagha. Writer, Social commentator
“On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The overriding reason for establishing our organization was,, and is to build bridges of unity for peace and development to be achieved in Nigeria. Our gratitude thus goes out to all of you who participate with online submissions, comments and private messages of support.
In recognition of the need for peace in the world, the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/37 of the United Nations General Assembly and the first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.
19 Years later in 2001, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted resolution 55/282, which established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.
We, members and executives of Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria have taken this gesture a step further by celebrating peace overtures and supporting discussions aimed at promoting peace and development in Nigeria on a daily basis, more so with the recent upsurge of violence in certain parts of our dear country.
We enjoin you to look forward to our celebration of peace next month as we keep you updated on our planned activities.
Thank you for giving development a chance in Nigeria as we celebrate International Day of Peace.
16 September 2013
By Olu Adekunle Snr. – Public Affairs Commentator
to democratic principles, is a task that is only achievable by a generous dose of divine favor. Otherwise, it is at best an uphill task that seldom meets with success.
My assertion is based mainly on the premise that the incorporation of several ethnic groups into a single political entity means bringing together the basic problem of conflict, which stems as a result of man’s varied wants, perceptions, opinions and insatiable nature. Group loyalties often supercede the established concept of a common identity thereby undermining the collective interests of a multi-ethnic society or nation.
Nigeria as a nation where political, ethnic and religious interests are guarded jealously is such a society where governance under a democratic setting is often tasked to the limit. Our history is replete with instances where sentiments have been whipped up in the direction of these three groupings, with the ultimate aim of exerting influence on the outcome of whatever may be the issue of the day.
Like every other society upon the face of the earth, Nigeria too has passed through phases of change in the quest to fulfill our collective needs. Some argue that these changes have not been for the benefit of the common man, while others believe that only those in the corridors of power have gained; but what the heck, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. The truth of the matter as has been evident before us is that the masses have almost always been preoccupied with the struggle for daily survival and could not be bothered by much else. At least that was the case before 1999.
In her 53 years of independence, Nigeria has been ruled by both civilians and the military with the latter intervening mostly on the purported basis of misrule by the former. The period of military rule ( spanning a greater part of the 53 years) is best remembered as an era where widespread corruption and conscious effort to undermine due process, the rule of law, transparency, accountability, and efficiency in government were the order of the day.
With the death of General Sanni Abacha former Nigerian Head Of State, Nigerians rightly rejected the military and opted instead for a return to democratic rule where the people would be free to decide for themselves who would govern and represent them at all levels of government. This agitation became a reality on May 29, 1999.
It was the expectation that democracy would increase the role of the ordinary people in the system and ultimately provide them the much touted ‘dividends of democracy’.
Fourteen years after in 2013, this is undoubtedly Nigeria’s longest romance with democratic rule. Whether it has met with expectations is a matter for future discourse. However, at this juncture and in view of the drama playing out at the higher levels of the polity, one is compelled to call to question the ambitions of our leaders and the role of political parties which in one way or another affect the political stability.
It is my thinking that the task of leaders is to help societies. They are expected to provide direction of effort towards achieving society’s goals. Leaders are also expected to bring out the best in all of us. As history has clearly shown,
a society without talented and committed leaders will retrogress or at best remain stagnant. This is most true of Nigeria where many of our civilian as well as military leaders, are selfishly caught up in the pursuit of personal goals at the expense of the national interest.
The scarcity of selfless, non-corrupt and committed leaders has contributed to the sociopolitical and economic predicaments facing Nigeria today. Although we cannot expect to have an endless succession of great and extraordinary leaders, recent events have shown that most of those in leadership positions across the country today are yet to fully understand what leadership and representation are all about. They seem bent on extinguishing the light of democracy shinning in Nigeria. They seem incapable of settling the political and economic crises that periodically confront us.
The recent crisis engulfing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is a good example of the lack of virtue on the part of most of our so-called leaders. Though the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has in many people’s opinions performed creditably, it seems an irony of sorts to find that his greatest critics and detractors are found within the party fold. Several Governors led by former Vice President Atiku recently disconnected themselves from the main PDP and went ahead to create what is now known as the New PDP.
Though only flimsy and generally unclear reasons were given for such an extreme move on the part of Atiku and his group, altercations between both factions only succeeded in heating the polity to alarming proportions. Nigerians now more politically enlightened than ever were initially shocked by the development. They however quickly adjusted and in what I call an unbiased assessment of the situation, concluded that Atiku and his fellow travelers were a disgruntled lot whose grievance stemmed from perceived obstacles in the way of their selfish pursuits.
In order to prevent the country from being torn apart by attendant sentiments, many stakeholders in the Nigerian project including past leaders and the leadership of various democratic institutions have waded into the matter. Three weeks on, the conflict is yet to be resolved. The Atiku group have however issued conditions for a truce which are at best laughable and indicative of the fact that men of means in this country can hold the entire country to ransom at their leisure. It also calls to question the place of the politician and the party in sustaining political stability or otherwise in Nigeria.
Political parties are by all standards one of the most outstanding and distinguishing elements of modern government and are reputed as the drivers of democracy. In other words, democracy is unthinkable in the absence of viable political parties. They are also expected to participate in the political socialization of electorates, contribute to the accumulation of political power, facilitate recruitment of political leadership, and serve as a unifying force in a divided polity.
After a review of current trends in party activities especially the PDP and Atiku debacle, I believe that some politicians and political parties have become more of a liability than an asset in the country’s quest for political stability.
TO BE CONTINUED.
“President Good-luck Jonathan should ignore all these frustrated,expired political antelopes who call themselves new PDP and concentrate on his existing transformation exercise which is going on in the nation. Nigerian’s recognise PDP as the largest party in country and not new PDP. It is a shame the people who have failed the country in their various responsibility in moving the nation forward are now coming back to obstruct the dividends of democracy Nigerians are experiencing. These people have failed the nation at large and Nigerians recognise their antics based on their antecedents in destabilising the nation.
Come 2015, the citizens of the country will decide on who to become their President and not these elements of corruption who have failed in their respective states in delivering proper dividends of democracy to their people. They can not convince the masses as they have disappointed them due to their dubious character. They can not convince even the smallest person in their community to come out and vote not to talk of telling them who to vote for. Some have even been suspended from PDP at their ward level. Imagine if PDP in the ward level that is the smallest level of the party can suspend them, then what impact can they render to the national level of the party other than causing confusion.
They have just one vote and I believe, with the developmental strides of President Good-luck Jonathan, Nigerians will not hesitate to give him a certificate of return through the ballot box. PDP is one umbrella and the leadership of the party should act according to what is enshrined in the party constitution in addressing membership misconduct. No member of PDP is above the constitution of the party. i have one question for the PDP…..a child that has been suspended from school,what is he still going to do there, when appointments of prefects is on going?”
Atoni Azi, Political and Social Commentator
RE: RIVERS SINKING INTO ANARCHY
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR AMAECHI
May God’s grace and good health be multiplied to you.
I was alarmed to no end to read the above caption in the TheNation (Monday, September 9, 2013). My dear Governor, for three whole weeks I had mulled over the idea of writing you an open letter on the current drift in the governance of our dear Rivers state under your watch. I was a bit wary about writing to you, lest I be accused of writing under the instigation of “Abuja Politicians” or “Oga and Madam at the top from Aso Rock.” I am now at liberty to express my views on the very issue you are quoted to have raised in the media.
Sir I wrote an open letter to you 4 years ago on the colossal verbal barrage you had unleashed on the irrepressible Okrika people and their highly cosmopolitan-Kalabari brothers. I am happy to say that at the moment, whatever recriminations or xenophobia you may harbour against them is no longer exhibited in that raw and vengeful manner we observed then. Thank you Sir. I also made it clear in that piece that in-spite of my misgivings I had to admire your pluck, adroitness and political savvy in the way you blind-sided the formidable Odili political machinery to set up a platform of your own, upon which you rode all the way to Brick House.
Permit me, Your Excellency to say bravo to you on the many road projects you have undertaken in the state. The new schools are icons in an apt aesthetic learning environment. I can assure you that decades after your tenure, no one can forget the fact that AMAECHI WAS HERE. Again my Governor, I say bravo!
I am compelled at this point, to bring to your notice, in case you have missed the glaring fact that Rivers State is, in your own words sinking into anarchy because of YOU. By your own words and actions, you have begun to tear down what you helped to build up.
This is how:
KNOWLEDGE OF TIMES AND SEASONS: The word of God tells us “to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl 3:11. KJV).Is this the time to be standing side by side with a few “Northern Governors” whose clear demand is that the presidency of Nigeria should be plucked from the South-South back to the core North? Is that what you (ChibuikeAmaechi) want at this time? Have you at this time become a “Northern Governor”? Even those who believed you were fighting for “justice” against the Presidency which was “witch hunting” you, merely because you won the NGF election, are beginning to wonder. Is this the time to identify with Atiku, Tambuwal, Nyako, Kwakwanso, Lamido, Aliyu and Wamakko? At this time and in this season of anomy President Goodluck Jonathan is discussing peace with “New PDP” and reaching out to resolve disputes. Are you also doing the same here in Rivers State? For you is this a time for peace or more war?
KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR PLACE AND HONOUR.As governor of Rivers state, you are our light, our father and leader. You are the symbol of our collective existence and the repository and exhibitor of our honour. I have in the last 6 years of your administration continued to wonder if you have acknowledge of your place in history and the honour due your high office. I know you do crave the image and reputation of a man who is “fearless” and ”frank”. Others may rather see you as lacking in reverence, ill-tempered and brash; hardly the virtues expected in a leader. Sadly Sir, you have failed to see the nobility of manner and edified elocution due your high office.
Truly assert that any governor of Rivers state should rank in dignity with any African leader at the least!
WHAT ABOUT ABE, PETERSIDE, LLOYD AND OTHERS? My dear Governor, do you realize how carelessly you have frittered away the political chances and careers of those who have stood by you? You have immunity, but do they? Will you not spare a thought for Senator Magnus Abe, Congressman Dakuku Peterside and other allies of yours who may be nursing political ambitions for 2015? How will your current endless battles in and outside the state affect their chances? You enjoyed 8 uninterrupted years as speaker of the RSHA under former Governor Odili. However within 6 years of your own tenure as Governor, first RSHA was embroiled in a contrived “AUSTRALIAN SEX SCANDAL”. Next the former Speaker Tonye Harry got the boot. Now Otelamaba Dan Amachree the new speaker has no house to preside over! Where Sir, is your staunch Ally Hon Chidi Lloyd? Your ADC, ASP Debewari Seimokumoh has since been declared a “deserter” from the police force. For him there will never be the completion of a glorious career and a commendable retirement. Your CSO, Tony Iwelu’s career is also aborted. From the former Rivers state PDP Exco led by Ake, to NGF, only God knows what else has suffered an inglorious desolation because of their association with you. Please look back and see the wasted careers you are leaving in your wake!
In case you have not realized it, I have to point out to you that you lasted longer in politics until you became governor because though Odili fought more and harder battles, He knew when to fight and when to make peace. He never risked the careers and future prospects of his men. That, my Dear Governor is the mark of a leader of men. These days you are ensconced in Abuja fighting to impeach President Jonathan or stop his perceived 2015 bid. It seems you have become an “Abuja politician” yourself. Your Excellency, your place is here with us your people. Return home and put your house in order. At least you will agree with me that the governmental institutions and political associates of your Northern-Governor-friends are intact.
RIVERS STATE IS DRIFTING. Rivers state has become rudderless and as you rightly pointed out anarchy has slipped into our land. It has nothing to do with President Jonathan, his wife, Wike, Obuah or Mbu. As you said years ago in one of your expansive moments, The buck stops of your table. You must, at this time, muster the moral fibre and courage to retrace your steps and make peace in your state (Rivers).Now is the time to reverse the current state of ennui. Again I wonder how you as a governor will work with the National Assembly as the new legislative arm of Rivers state government. Please resist the temptation to consider with glee that now you and Mr President work with the
Senate and House of Representatives as their chief executives. Just ponder how you can pass you fiscal demands through a National legislature not elected by Rivers people. How can you pay civil servant salaries more regularly and on time? Our dear state is paying a heavy price for this crisis. For example which investor foreign or local will come to a state which its own governor says is sinking into anarchy? Should the interest and cooperate survival of 7 million people be sacrificed for one man’s interest? RIVERS STATE SINKING INTO ANARCHY? Well there is only one man I know who swore an oath, with a Bible in his hands to fix it. You!
Thank You my dear Governor
I remain yours truly
VICTOR BURUBO, Pst.
- [Gist] :Presidency, G-7 Meeting Deadlock Over Amaechi (2hotblog.com)
- PDP expels Amaechi’s 14 commissioners (tawwabbalogun.wordpress.com)
LEST WE FORGET,IT WAS A POLITICAL COUP AT THAT PDP CONVENTION!
Because of August 31,2013,the political landscape shall never be the same again,not after the walk out by the Baraje faction of the PDP at the just concluded PDP Convention at Eagle Square.Take it or leave it against all expectations the unexpected happened with such clinical precision and in tandem with a well orchestrated plan which didn’t just start at the Eagle Square;so where was the intelligence apparatchik, which failed woefully to envision that this kind of development was in the offing? Did the PDP egg heads in Wadata also lack the ability to see that critical security in-depth analysis should have made out that the various developments,formation of PDM,the undercurrents of threats inside the party from Nyako’s Adamawa to Rivers, to Anambra, to those in Wadata Complex, all pointed out that all was not well, and that the party was going to Eagle Square with a liability baggage,where loyalty would be a major determinant of peaceful conduct of the event.
Be it as it may however,what makes interesting focus is the undeniable fact that the President was made a sitting duck,oblivious that there was a caving in of his political platform,a structure he must need to actualise his intentions in the presidential race for 2015. Not even the presidential intelligence muzzle could sniff out that Yar’adua Centre had been booked for an after Convention gathering of the party’s big wigs by whatever identity:snooping further will make for more intel that could alert the President that a counter move was in progress,which will need follow up and identification of the prevailing threat and potential to upset his expectations;to have prior intel makes it possible for him to re-strategise; cant we all see that after all the clear indications that prior to the day some members of the PDP had been traversing the length and breath of Nigeria on a purported journey of consultations,the President need not lack intelligence feelers, indicating that any slight misdemeanor or a semblance of it, will turn out badly,especially if any manipulation at the convention was suspected by these members!
It likely is an innocent conjecture but I still see the New PDP, Baraje’s faction as a well articulated group of the mainstream PDP,who had a plan and kept it close to their chest as a plan ‘B’,just in case;they clinically executed their plan as a political coup d’etat,a novelty,but to great effect,and an avoidable situation if those watching the President’s back and that of the biggest political party,did their intelligence gathering and speculative analysis more effectively than the usual every day snooping and sniffing!From all indications more political analysis and its marriage into the security and architecture has become very necessary in today’s political dispensation,if democracy indeed must be protected by the intelligence community as in other climes.
- PDP, G-5 Peace Mission And Issues At Stake (ebijeisrael.wordpress.com)
- [Gist] :Why we shunned PDP’s post-convention dinner (2hotblog.com)