It all started soon after he helped secure a whopping unprecedented two
million votes for his South-South brother to win the 2011 Presidential
He accompanied her to Okrika just to demonstrate
that he was loyal. Just to make her feel important as Her Imperial
Majesty should feel.
So suddenly, as he was speaking, outlining
his revolutionary educational strategy, especially for Her Majesty's
Okrika homeland, she got into a fiery rage, sprang up like she was
catapulted from the spirit realm, dragged the microphone from his hand
with the force of a mighty storm, and buried him in the avalanche of
tirade with her characteristic magisterial swagger.
audience, mainly of Okrika origin, who had thronged the open ground to
see the triumphant return of their Czarist Queen, watched on, some
hilarious, some hysterical, some jamming their hands together at the
awesome power of their Goddess. Others were subdued, bowing in disgust
at the humiliation of the holder of their sacred mandate. Mumbling at
the denigration of their Governor, a man, the husband of a beautiful
Stunned and disgraced in equal measure, head lowered,
mouth agape, he walked stealthily towards the Modern Primary School
that was close by, his feet unable to kill an ant, sat on the corridor
and mimed to himself " oh, this school, see how much humiliation I have
endured for constructing you here so that the children of fishermen here
and the children of janitors and cleaners and fish sellers and market
woman and traders can have world-class educational facilities like their
elite contemporaries in the cities in order to arm them too with the
wherewithal of the competitive 21sth century knowledge-based economy".
Soliloquy! A governor's tears nearly dropped, he had to hold the eyes
liquid for his closet.
In the weeks and months that followed,
no official condemnation surfaced, no informal " south-south" elders'
words of sympathy soothed the frayed nerves and the chagrined soul of
the man. Not even a word from the deities of Aso Rock! Yet the Governor
was still, for what would a "son" do having been so treated by a
"mother"? He endured. And endured. And endured. But more blows were
Instead of calm, a rash of oil and territorial wars
were unilaterally declared against him and Rivers people. By this time,
events were progressively deteriorating. So permit me to now name the "
Him". He's a certain Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Her Majesty, the
Magisterial Amazonic Goddess is Her Excellency, Dame Patience Faka
So I said the oil wars, territorial wars, were the next phase of tribulations for Rivers people.
In late 2012, 17 BILLION naira, accruals from disputed Soku oils well
in Kalabari kingdom of Rivers State, hitherto put away in an escrow
account, pending the amicable resolution of the boundary dispute between
two sister states of Rivers and Bayelsa, was strangely credited to the
coffers of Bayelsa State Government by the RMAFC, an organ of the
Federal Government which perhaps couldn't fathom why any State in
Nigeria should be dragging oil well money with the President's home
State of Bayelsa.
Rivers territory has been excised! Never mind
that from colonial times up to the 10th Edition of the Administrative
Map of Nigeria, the boundaries between Kalabari communities of Rivers
State and the neighbouring Nembe Communities of Bayelsa State had been
delineated with the boundary clearly marked as the Santa barbara River.
It was the 11th Edition of the Administrative Map of Nigeria prepared in
1999 and published in 2000 that strangely shifted the boundaries
between Rivers and Bayelsa from the initial boundary between Kalabari
and Nembe, west of the Santa Barbara, to San Bartholomew River, contrary
to all preceding administrative maps of Nigeria.
Governor Peter Odili, the then Governor of Rivers State, had rightly
petitioned then Chairman of NBC, Atiku Abubakar, over the wrongful
boundary shift and allocation of Rivers oil wells to Bayelsa. It's
interesting to note that in a letter dated 3rd July, 2002, addressed to
Odili, the Governor of Rivers, the Director-General of NBC had stated
thus: " I have discussed this issue with the Surveyor-General of the
federation and wish to state as follows...that the NBC has taken note
of the state's observation of the INADVERTENT MISREPRESENTATION of the
Bayelsa/Rivers interstate boundary..." He further promised that..." I am
to assure your Excellency that your observations have been noted and
necessary corrections shall be reflected on the 12th Edition of the map
currently under production".... "I am to assure you that the boundary
line as reflected in the said edition of the map SHALL HAVE NO BEARINGS
ON THE CURRENT EFFORTS"
So doesn't it fly in the face of reason
that 17 billion naira wisely housed in an escrow account pending proper
resolution of the dispute was hastily transferred to the coffers of
Bayelsa State in circumstances that suggest the reasonable probability
that the RMAFC were under the obligation of an "order from above"?
That was not all in the free for all territorial onslaught against
Rivers. Akwa Ibom state got their fair share of Rivers productive oil
wells too. The Revenue of the state was becoming lean! Did Rivers win
any battle of this territorial and oil well onslaught? Only some barren
wells from Cross Rivers. Amaechi and his Rivers people have been
pummeled! But why?
The Governor was still reeling from the
pains inflicted by the heavy territorial and oil well jabs when a new
dimension to the plan to cripple and make him a pariah began.
Orubebe, Jonathan's Minister of Niger Delta affairs stepped in to take the barton and lead the charge.
Amaechi had, sometimes in 2012, after visiting an accident scene on the
East West Road near Ahoada, made a seemingly harmless comment
expressing disappointment with the slow pace of work on the road and
calling on the Federal Government to permit Governors of Niger Delta
States to take over construction of the road in order to end the serial
carnage the deplorable nature of the road was causing. It took Orubebe
seven months to de-construct Amaechi's comment and convinced himself
that it was directed against President Jonathan. Then Orubebe started
his infamous outburst against the Governor. He was given enough war
chest to attract gargantuan media hullabaloo. If you are at a loss as to
when the " Amaechi has no respect for president" campaign started, ask
That took us into the NGF saga. Jonathan didn't tell
Amaechi not to re-contest the Chairmanship. But he deployed
unprecedented presidential power to stop him. All Federal institutions
were put on alert to stop Amaechi. They battled like a bunch of excited
children to please big brother. Everybody could fly in their private
jets, not Amaechi. Jonathan, from being the president of Nigeria had
also become the god of the sky. Bombardier! Bombardier!! Bombardier!!!
By default, that company had become the most popular aircraft
manufacturing company in Nigeria. Even my grand-mother in the village
knew about them!
Amaechi couldn't fly at will again, his wings
clipped to the root. Governors were promised heaven and earth to stop
him. He contested. The prospects of victory were dim. Defeat appeared
obvious. Fears palpable. Only faith was constant.
called to duty, hastily made the head of a quickly devised PDP-GF. The
mission was unambiguous. It contained only two word: stop Amaechi!
Amaechi said, if I have to fail, let me fail at the poll. Against
mountainous odds, he drove in the vehicle of his iron-clad will to dare,
to challenge, to face risk. A battled-scared political veteran. What
did you expect?
After the counting of ballots, the scoreboard
read 16-19. Jang, a reluctant old contestant, secured 16. Amaechi got
19. Amaechi had won against obvious odds! Just as jubilation was
erupting everywhere, the arithmetic abracadabra began. Bloodied,
Akpabio, representing Jonathan, was not ready to take the punch.
So did we record the debut of "janglize," "janglization", "janjaweed",
in our political lexicon. Arithmetic equation had been canibalized by
mathematics abracadabra. The six before one had been turned upside down.
16 had become 19 and 19 had become 16. In every case, sixteen was
greater than nineteen.
Presidency denied involvement as it did
from the beginning. But few days after, Jang was addressed as chairman
of NGF by the President himself. Not because Jang won, but because
Amaechi must be reduced to nothing. Few days after, Akpabio and co
gathered in the walls of Aso Rock to sing a dirge for NGF. The lyric of
the dirge said:
"All hail the President The cord of NGF is broken forever Its grave decorated with your Signature victory No more will its ghost rise up to Trouble thee All hail the president!"
So I tell you once again, if you are at a loss as to how faction become
implanted in our national consciousness, go back to the NGF debacle.
Ask Akpabio, the President's hitman!
You remember Amaechi's
49th birthday gift from the presidency? Suspension from the PDP. Bamanga
Tukur and his people gleefully announced to Nigerians that Amaechi had
been suspended from the party for refusing to reinstate the Obio Akpor
council government sacked by the Rivers legislative arm!
First Lady also resumed her belligerence. She would come into Rivers
State with riotous retinue of endless convoy and lock down the whole
place. One black day on one of her mischievous visits, security forces
barricaded a road where the Governor was passing. The first Lady was
apparently preparing to go out. She was probably still in her bathroom,
but the entire road has been locked down. The Governor's usually small
convoy was turned back from passing a certain road. Mbu's men plus all
the Federal security apparatuses turned back the convoy of a Governor!
The Empress was in town. Didn't the Governor know?
Wike, Hon Minister of State for Education. With help from Abuja, they
took away the PDP structure in the state and dashed it to Nyesom. Before
you could. Say Jack, Felix Obuah, new Rivers PDP chairman anointed from
above, was giving series of ultimatum to the Governor! Explain in two
hours! Say this in twenty hours! Deny that in twenty four hours or face discipline! If one forgot that we were not in a banana republic,one would have been forgiven.
Then enter GDI otherwise called gang of demented irritants. It had, and
still has Nyesom's signature. They threatened, they occupied, they
cursed, they spilled venom, they troubled the waters, they yelled with
words of interposition, they captured the airwaves preaching belly
revolutions against the Governor. Nyesom promised that he would make
Rivers State ungovernable. And that Amaechi would sleep no more.
Mbu, Rivers police chief, was openly engaging the "chief security" of
the State. " You are a dictator, you are this, you are that" he said
over the megaphone. "Repentant" militants were unleashed on the streets
of Port Harcourt, not only to protest I know not what, but to intimidate
the Governor. Police escorted them in that endeavour.
Evans. The template for the new arithmetic formula has already been
developed in Abuja from the NGF saga. His renegades of frivolous five
legislators, with active help from indian hemp- smoking, Arrow mate-
chanting thugs commandeered the Rivers State House of Assembly ."
Honourable members in the gallery" elected Evans as the new "speaker".
Five persons have sacked 27 people. 5 had become greater than 27. The
end point of the farce was to pronounce the impeachment of the Governor.
Once that was done, Mbu would have mobilised his men into Government
House to march Amaechi out. Amaechi would go to court and cry a
lamentation of rule of law. The rest would become history.
Evans told us that he was doing all that for a certain jesus, who having
ascended to heaven, decided to come town to the African tribe of
Okrika. Amaechi's seat in the Brick House was the only sacrifice worthy
of acceptance to our jesus on earth.
In the midst of the
impasse, the invertebrate trio of Okupe, Abati and Gulag were busy
throwing scud missiles at the Governor at every turn, directed from the
high planes of Aso Rock's war house.
Now primed for a fight,
Amaechi exported the crises to London, the capital of our formal
colonial masters, and berated President Jonathan and the First Lady for
scheming to sack him. Will you blame him? Presidential minders had
expressed bitterness about the Senate's resolution approving the
decision of the House of Reps to take over the legislative functions of
Rivers Assembly. Not because they love Rivers people more, but because
the takeover foreclosed their nocturnal voodoo scheme to sack the
Sam Sam Jaja, Amaechi's man, now factional National
Deputy Chairman of the New PDP, was thrown out by the old factional PDP
to undo Amaechi.
This has been a long one from me. Now I have a
question. In view of the foregoing, did anybody expect Amaechi to take a
huge political offering on his head, dance and wriggle his waist to Aso
Rock in perspiration, and lay the offering at the feet of the deity in
the temple of Aso Rock?
For those of us who are eager to call
Amaechi a traitor of " the south-south cause", whatever that
means,before you spread out your judgement sheet, consider, please
Amaechimanic hatred started soon after 2011, giving the Governor and his many supporters no chance, no alternative.
Friday Kennedy Barileilo is Lingua Scribe of Ogoni Generation Next Project (OGNP)