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Rivers: Taking Citizens’ Priorities For Granted?

February 10, 2011

Politics has become so interesting in this country that even firebrand activists and the best of brains could be converted into vague- talking party men just by a wave of the hand.

Politics has become so interesting in this country that even firebrand activists and the best of brains could be converted into vague- talking party men just by a wave of the hand.

When the Chairman of the Rivers State Chapter of Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), Uche Okwukwu in an interview with a prominent national daily said Governor Chibuike Amaechi “misplaces citizen’s priorities” he connoted from all indications that his party has ideas of what those priorities are or rather should be.

However on the question of “What does your party have in stock for the people of Rivers state,” the ACN chairman was as vague as he was insincere in the answer. Hear him; “The same thing they are doing in Lagos and Edo to take the dividends of democracy to the doors of the common people. Democratization of the dividends of democracy is the most important thing, ensuring that everybody gets justice, equity and fair play so that nobody suffers because he is not a member of ACN (he meant to say PDP).”

What Fashola is doing in Lagos are not the same things Oshiomole is doing in Edo state so what are those things the Rivers ACN wants to do in Rivers state? One would have expected the chairman to tell the people what his party is coming to do in specific terms as this would inspire massive support for the party because of such programmes.

What is “democratization of the dividends of democracy”? In an election campaign season, the worst mistake by any party is to “speak in tongues” as the electorate may not understand such high level language.

The ACN, if it’s really serious with giving Amaechi and his PDP a fight in the state in the forthcoming governorship election, should in simple and specific terms tell our people what they are coming to do as most of the people currently associated with the party have serious credibility and integrity problems.

And it would be a very costly mistake for the party and its governorship candidate to think that they can just sneak themselves into the political arena of the state without addressing pending allegations of complicity in the ugly and unnecessary bloodbath and spate of evils that the state was forced to witness throughout the later part of Odili’s administration and into the Omehia’s short stay at the Brick House.

Fleet of ordinary Rivers people came to the Kayode Eso-led Rivers Truth and Reconciliation Commission to accuse the ACN governorship candidate of direct sponsorship in terms of funding, acquisition of arms and ammunition and even direct command in the mayhem particularly in the Okrika and Ogu/Bolo parts of the state.

Rather than make attempt to clear himself, Chief Sekibo picked the ACN ticket and is set to go round the state to ask the same people to vote and make him their governor. Haba!

What is Sekibo going to be telling the people of the state in his campaign? That Amaechi constituted the Eso Panel to nail and demonize people like him who are political enemies of  the governor? Who is going to believe him? Nobody! This is because he failed to do that at the time he was supposed to.

No wonder the ACN chairman found it difficult to tell the rivers people what his party with Sekibo as its governorship flag bearer is coming to do for them.

Is it not interesting that even Asari Dokubo, the repentant militant who has never been an apostle of peace and due process throughout his life, could be vexed with the ACN party in its choice of candidate for the governorship election?

How can a party that cannot peaceably agree on who to carry its flag talk of properly placing citizen’s priorities in the state? They need to get their own priorities right first before even talking of the priorities of the entire citizenry. Abi no be so?

All that the Rivers people have heard from Dr Sekibo has been his attacks on the person of Rotimi Amaechi. Is that what is going to give him the peoples’ vote and make him the state governor? He may not like Amaechi for obvious reasons but his grouse with the state governor should not take the place of issue and ideas-based campaigns to convince our people.

Sekibo has failed to utilise several opportunities on mass media platforms to beg the people for forgiveness and their support for his latest aspiration to govern or rather rule the state.

For the major part of a radio program, View Point of Saturday February 5th on Rhythm 93.7, meant to be a platform for him to intimate the listeners with his intended blueprint for governing the state, he spent almost all the available time attacking Amaechi and his government saying things that could even nail his own chances of being listened to by the Rivers people.

He alleged amongst other things that Amaechi’s government has recklessly spent about 0ne Trillion Naira in its coffers without any commendable project to show for it and compared this with the Odili administration especially between the years 1999-2003, when he served as Secretary to the State Government.

Well, Amaechi should defend himself and his government but a poser for Dr Sekibo: Please ask your party chairman, Uche Okwukwu why he was ordered never to talk, write or even be seen in the public with journalists or political groups during that same period. If your chairman would be free to tell you the truth, during this same period you are pointing to, Uche was amongst the frontline activists for good governance and accountability in the state and his stand on issues of financial frugality, security etc. pitched him against the Odili administration where this same Sekibo was an amayanabo of many things. Abeg make all of una go sidown!


IFEANYI IZEZE, ABUJA ([email protected])


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