Amaechi’s Birthday: 57 Garlands to a Visionary, Courageous, result-oriented Leader on a Mission to Rescue Nigeria.
For the past fourteen years or so I have steadily done birthday messages on a date like this in honour of my beloved friend, brother, associate, benefactor and leader, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and immediate past Minister of Transportation. On this 57th birthday, I have done a book titled, “AMAECHI: HIS FEATS, INSPIRATIONAL, REVOLUTIONARY LEADERSHIP STYLE & ITS IMPACT IN RIVERS STATE & NIGERIA, highlighting most of his feats in public life in a 30 chapter book. The book is yet to be formally presented to the public due to the very busy engagements of the ex-Minster who has been very busy, touring round the country for consultative engagements with delegates ahead of the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress.
I have done over 500 articles and press statements on issues pertaining to this reformer and composite gentleman but this book contains all that one need to know about AMAECHI and his style of politics.
In the vastly informative, educating and inspiring work, I, insightfully dissected and shedded light on the genesis of my relationship with the celebrant which dates back to 2007.
The work did substantial justice to all the feats recorded by Amaechi as the Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation and what he has gone through in the hands of friends and associates as well as his tall status in the politics of Nigeria.
Similarly, I made an in-depth analysis of Amaechi with a precise concentration on his feats as the first Nigerian to assume office as a State Governor in Nigeria while on self-exile and the only Nigerian to have been a two time Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria, two-time Governor of Rivers State (eight years) and two-time Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). Two time Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation that unseated PDP from Power in 2015 and successful led the reelection of President Muahhamdu Buhari as the President of Nigeria in 2019. These feats are not very common anywhere yet they seem not to be enough in presenting him as a man ahead of his time.
On the work, I took time to present a comprehensive account of his efforts and success in making Port Harcourt the World Book Festival hub and UNESCO World Book Capital City for the year 2014, making it the 14th city in the world to be selected as World Book Capital and the first in Black Africa, beating 10 other great cities, such as Oxford in England and Moscow in Russia.
I have tried to assess the feats of this unique transformer as the only Nigerian leader to have initiated the setting up of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Nigeria when he embarked upon the establishment of the Greater Port Harcourt City covering eight Local Government Areas of Rivers State. Having dealt with his feats in the areas of education revolution, the sewage challenge in Rivers State and how he plotted the unseating of a sitting and very powerful President in Africa, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP (with all the powers of incumbency, control of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation-NNPC, The Central Bank of Nigeria-CBN, the Independent National Electoral Commission-INEC, the highly rated corrupt political and religious leaders with all the security organs/apparatus in his pocket), I will leave it to people who still ask me if Amaechi truly is a man ahead of his time.
Amaechi’s feats in curbing insecurity in Rivers State to the effect that for a whole year in 2010, there was no single armed robbery incident in Rivers State marked singled him out as a foresighted fellow. He initiated the Monorail magic in Nigeria, did other magical acts in the Agricultural and health sectors, and exhibited his prudent management of public finance.
The accounts of his survival from the onslaught of Dr. Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, Joseph Mbu (then Rivers State Commissioner of Police), Nyesom Wike and Federal Government agencies, earned him a large place on the map of courage.
Given his personality and rare breed and coupled with the roles he played and still continues to play in the politics of Nigeria, Amaechi is placed in the mould of other great nationalists around the world. A case in point was the political war of 2007. Amaechi had won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rivers State gubernatorial ticket but was denied the right to fly the flag under very curious and controversial circumstances which later became the infamous “K-leg” episode. But the Supreme Court of Nigeria in a landmark judgement affirmed him as the duly elected Governor of Rivers State. That was about four months after Sir Celestine Omehia, incidentally Amaechi’s cousin, had been sworn in as Governor of Rivers State.
Writing Amaechi’s exploits in the politics of Nigeria would not be enough in one book but I tried hard to examine how this Ubima-born leader undertook the greatest risk, or rather a suicidal mission, to remove a party that prided itself as the largest political party/movement in Africa, destined to govern Nigeria for sixty years.
In summary, this book of about 350 pages covering 30 chapters with illustrative and action pictures covers the following critical issues that affect the life and politics of Rt. Hon. Dr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi: The Factors And Basics of my Encounter and Relationship with Amaechi. It will explain who Amaechi is, his beginning and education, and his venture into Nigerian politics.
Other areas that the book covers include the Unity Government – The PDP, AC Example in Rivers; Amaechi and his incredible feats in Rivers State; The security situation that Amaechi inherited and how he rescued the State; His exemplary feats in Education; His feats in Agriculture; His feats in Health; and general physical and infrastructural development of Rivers State. It will also look at how Amaechi managed the resources of Rivers State, his endless persecutions, struggle for the soul of Rivers State APC, the power play and ministerial nomination and confirmation, the unseating of a sitting President and leading the Presidential Campaign on two Occasions.
The book also focuses on the Buhari’s struggle for presidency and Amaechi as his Presidential Campaign Director General, Amaechi and the Railway Revolution in Nigeria, Buhari and emancipation and development of the old Eastern Nigeria including some of the outstanding associates of Amaechi. Other thoughts about Amaechi, family ties, testimonies, and awards were exposed in such a way that the myth behind his person and personality of was be laid bare.
ON HIS QUEST TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA
Nigeria is at a precarious time in its evolution. The task ahead is enormous. Nigeria desperately needs the right leader to get the right fixes. A president who will address the hydra of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping; galloping debts, oil revenue shrinkage, freewheeling inflation, and the Venus flytrap called petrol subsidy. These are tasks demanding extraordinary competence and a surfeit of courage and a one time President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo recently stated that Nigeria needs a madman to rescue the country from its present sad state and from the feats listed above Amaechi fits the mould of a character required for the onerous task at the moment.
To many opinion leaders, Amaechi stands out as the most resilient of all the presidential hopefuls in the APC and opposition parties. He resigned his appointment as Minister to trudge through an undulating and serpentine path. He makes the politically impossible seem plausible. He is the earl of possibilities; a fighter and believer. He has visited virtually all the states, seeking the support of APC delegates. Some of the Governors and APC stakeholders have publicly declared their support for him. In Plateau state, Simon Lalong, the governor, said: “You are the first presidential aspirant to come and see us, when I invited others to come, they said they can’t come to Plateau because it would be a waste of time because Plateau people will not vote for them, but will vote for Amaechi. So, you didn’t need to talk much. We want to rely on somebody that has done it before. We are telling you so that you would not waste your time to come back for campaigns. We have taken our decision. You have done a lot for our people.’’
Muhammad Badaru, governor of Jigawa, also endorsed Amaechi for the APC presidential ticket. He said ‘’it’s either you or me’’.
With the plethora of achievements Amaechi has attracted to Nigeria under the Buhari/APC government, the most befitting and suitable birthday package for his 57 birth anniversary would be the APC Presidential ticket which will definitely get to him God willing.
Given the result of feelers from the Consultative Tours and other strategic engagements of the Minister and his team directed by Sen. Ndume, it is crystal clear that Ndume, the Borno South Senator is versed in the business of politics and has got the right keys needed to unlock the path to Aso Rock and solve the development puzzle of Nigeria.
In all the visits both to the Obas, Traditional Rulers, Delegates, Opinion leaders, Stakeholders, it has been encomiums on Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and approvals for his Nigerian project for 2023.
With the drafting of the former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Brutai, Senator Nurudeen Obateem, Hon Nasiru Ajanah, Mr. Sulaiman the former IGP and other great strategists lik Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Senator Andrew Uchendu, Prince Tonye Princewill, Hon. Aso Wenah to help Senator Aliyu Ndume in this onerous task coupled with the massive goodwill and supports pledged by party leadership in over 30 States, the road to Aso Rock seems to be clearer and smoother on daily basis.
The kind words of the Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, gives one hope that the country is on the right path. Read what this foresighted leader said when Amaechi visited his State,
“Amaechi, your boss, your friend, the man you love President Muhammadu Buhari, has the final say. This is the man we all respect and believe in, where he goes is where we go. No governor can do otherwise,”
Read his further revelation: “But more than you can sell yourself, the team that is following you is intimidating. The team is a selling point. My dear brother, General Yusuf Buratai, is not one that follows people around. I know he must have heard something that l don’t know. His excellency, Amb. Yusuf Tugar is not known to follow people just like that. I’m ready to follow these your delegates.”
For avoidance of doubt and with the results so far recorded from his engagements with delegates and stakeholders, the dream of Nigerian to have a better, agile and well equipped President to restore Nigerias dignity and pride of place in the comity of nations seems to be realizable very soon.
For those who are still in doubt of the prospects of Amaechi in this struggle, let me bring in the encouraging report of my good friend, Mr. Michael Jegede, containing events of the few weeks of Amaechi’s consultative tour:
“Better placed as the bridge between the young and old generations, the 56-years-old ex-Rivers governor has, within the last two to three weeks, showed great vim, energy and strength as he moved with high speed from Delta to Rivers, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa, having earlier covered the entire states in the South-West and South-East. His train moved progressively to Kaduna last Sunday from where it headed to Adamawa, Nasarawa, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, FCT, Niger, Benue and Plateau between Monday and Thursday.
The acceptability of the Ikwerre-born consummate grassroots politician, a pragmatic and visionary leader, highly respected for his courage, doggedness and strength of character, could be seen from the level of support he is getting from the delegates.
For instance, in Taraba State, convinced that Nigerians will be the ultimate beneficiary of Amaechi’s stewardship, the APC delegates there vowed to give him at least 90 percent of their votes on the day of the convention.
In Kaduna, the delegates were touched after listening to the testimony of their governor, Nasir El-Rufai, about the character and person of the former Transportation Minister and immediately endorsed him as their preferred choice.
While in Adamawa State where he equally got the assurances of party delegates, the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, gave Amaechi his blessing and prayed for his emergence as Nigeria’s President in 2023. The monarch believed that with what he did in his eight years as Rivers helmsman, Nigerians will enjoy the true dividends of democratic governance under his leadership as president.
The Chairman, Bayelsa State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Bubaraye Agada the 10th, was highly elated to receive Amaechi in Yenagoa during his visit to the state to interface with delegates.
He said: “We are delighted to have you, you are an aspirant who has come to do the needful.
“You are our son, I have never seen a resume or profile of your type being two-time Speaker, two-time Governor and two-time Minister; we must give you the needed support.”
Governor Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State, likewise an APC presidential aspirant, tacitly stepped down for Amaechi when he visited the state to engage the delegates.
According to Badaru, “One thing I respect about my big brother and friend (Amaechi) is that what you see is what you get. He doesn’t lie; he doesn’t pretend. He says it straight, and that’s the quality of leaders this country needs.
“So Jigawa delegates, when you think of me, think of Amaechi because we are the children of President Buhari, so on that day, it’s either I run or he runs, but for sure, I cannot run against him.”
In Plateau, the delegates in one accord with their governor, Simon Lalong, unanimously adopted Amaechi, as their sole candidate, while revealing that he was the first APC presidential aspirant to visit the state ahead of the convention.
The story is the same from state to state. Majority of the delegates are at home with Amaechi and determined to gladly give him their votes at the forthcoming APC convention. They are of the notion that the vast experience he has garnered in governance, having been privileged to have consistently remained in the corridors of power since 1999, will stand him in good stead to perform as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Like many other well-meaning Nigerians, the delegates see Amaechi as the most qualified, competent and suitable candidate for the Presidency among those aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023”.
Amaech has demonstrated that he is a visionary leader and has outlined his key plans for the country which includes eradicating insecurity in Nigeria in all ramifications.
While Amaechi will win most of the states in the presidential primaries, he will actually need more than that to become victorious. He needs Buhari’s imprimatur. He needs the president’s endorsement to sail plainly through the primaries. Buhari’s endorsement will seal it for Amaechi and thank God President Buhari is fully aware of what Amaechi has done in his political life.
According to this statement credited to President Buhari that has gone viral, “I stand by a man who funded me when we couldn’t hold our party the CPC convention, the one who knelt before them in Lagos to keep APC together, I stand by a true friend and a committed team player. Without his singular and committed effort, advising Mallam behind the scene and ordinary, there wouldn’t have been APC, the merger wouldn’t have succeeded, I wouldn’t have been APC presidential candidate, most especially there wouldn’t have been APC govt which all of those who want to be President.”
While I congratulate Amaechi as he turns 57, I am confident that God willing, things will surely work out for the Presidency of Amaechi come 2023.
Once again, Congratulations your Excellency and Happy Progressive Birthday!