Date Published: 10/23/09
Amaechi: An Epitome of a Democrat By Onukwube Uwanu
The current administration in Rivers State has been regarded as an offspring of circumstance, fate, or predestination having come into position of authority through the widely acclaimed Supreme Court of Nigeria ruling of October 25, 2007 which is almost two years now.
At its inception, though without clear cut or pre – defined manifesto to guide the administration of Rivers state, the governor had positive and meaningful plans for his people. His fair knowledge of governance, having served as the Rivers state House of Assembly Speaker under Odili’s administration stood him in good stead to know the developmental needs of Rivers people who are impoverished, exploited as well as the absence of federal government projects in the state.
Prepared in advance for the challenge of his office, Amaechi established the Economic Advisory Team made up of the best brains, and eminent citizens of the state drawn from different political divide who give him economic direction on how to move the state forward. Prominent amongst them is Prince Tonye Princewill, Action Congress leader and close friend of Amaechi, who has not relented in his efforts in attracting invertors into the state, worthy of mention is Silverbird, Clinotech and others.
The current administration in River state under Amaeche is one of the few administrations that has welcomed, accepted and put into operation the Government of National Unity. This inclusive approach to governance has made possible for opposition political parties members to function in the administration of the state thus giving the opposition a sense of belonging. This can be seen in the reappointment of Chief Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya of the Republican Party of Nigeria as the Commissioner of Special Duties, Hon. Osima Ginah of the Action Congress as the commissioner of Urban Development, Chief Williams Igwe of AC as an adviser to the governor etc.
It is in line with the aforementioned that Hon. Osima Ginah opined thus: “no matter the perception in some quarters, this administration is not ready to discriminate against any section or persons or groups or political party as it sees every sons and daughters of Rivers state no matter their religious inclination, tribal differences but as equal partners and stakeholders. The above has strengthened the point made in some sections that the Amaechi’s led-administration is one devoid of the cankerworm, “winner takes it all syndrome” an inherent aspect of Nigerian politics.
However, the unity government option has not taken firm root in the local government level where the opposition felt cheated when compared with their state counterparts.
One inherent aspect of democracy is that it allows for freedom of expression not only to the ordinary man, elite, the press but also the opposition political members who criticizes the government of the day. In the past and even presently both toward and untoward criticism has been directed to the Amaechi government by known and unknown fifth columnists, activists etc, who are disenchanted or enchanted. In all, the man at the helm of affairs in the state has demonstrated high sense of tolerance as he has not taken any action that would be considered as reprehensible or untoward against those who are critical of his administrations’ activities, policies and programmes when compared with the situation in Owerri, Imo state capital, where lately a section of the press who are critical of the government policies and programmes are unfortunately gagged and in most cases beaten up by political aides.
In the area of even development, road projects, building of hospitals and school blocks are equitably distributed across the state that one can not but salute him as he is poised to lift the state from its past socio-economic and political doldrums and wastefulness.
No doubt Rivers people have a democrat in their governor who is determined to carry everybody along and ensure that his good plans for the state is realized on time not minding contrary views.
Onukwube Uwanu , a social critic writes in from Elelenwo, Port Harcourt