A Letter To Rotimi Amaechi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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A Letter To Rotimi Amaechi

Posted: Nov 5, 2015 at 8:36 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sam Kargbo

Rotimi Amaechi averred during his screening ordeal that he was born to fight for his right and that he hates corruption. Not many people believed his claim on corruption. I will however give him the benefit of the doubt and hold him to his words. Writing about him sometimes back, I explained the difficulty I have in believing and liking politicians. As I stated in that article, there is hardly anything that cannot be a political instrument for the politician. To a Politician, life is a bag of tricks. I warned the public not to invest in the politician who cannot play games with his wife, children, parents or friends, even over their lives  or prosperity. Such a charlatan has no business in politics. In a word, politics rarely breed honourable men. Among political ranks we have excellencies, distinguished and honourable men. We also have statesmen. But, I will say that those sublime titles are meant to prevent us from calling them their true names to their faces. William Shakespeare was a playwright and perhaps that is why he, unlike the politician, said  “ I am not covetous for gold, but if it is a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive”.

There is however something about Amaechi that is worth discussing and emphasizing. He is strong willed, confident and assertive. He also is frank and down-to earth. That perhaps explains why some people say that he is arrogant. I also had the erroneous perception of him until I met him at a younger friend’s birthday party, where he set aside the paraphernalia of his office as the then Governor of Rivers State and became just like any other guest at the party. It was also at that party that I discovered his loyalty to friendship. Repeating what I had earlier said, when I met Governor Rotimi Amaechi I was, in the words of an anonymous writer, looking down. When I left him, however, I was looking up.

It is in this spirit that I hereby implore Amaechi to reflect on the hue and cry that attended the confirmation of his nomination as Minister. Although the Senate was perfectly right in confirming him, because he is constitutionally qualified and an influential member of the ruling APC, the propaganda of the PDP succeeded in eroding the people’s confidence in him. He is therefore taking up a national assignment with an abiding duty to shame his detractors and reward Mr. President and the APC with an above average performance.  Those who say that his is a second chance are perfectly correct. Not too many people have the opportunity to prove doubting Thomases wrong or correct erroneous public perceptions.

Amaechi has done his best for Rivers State and now is the time for him to concentrate on his national duties. He is no longer the Chief Executive of Rivers State. It is not his but the prerogative of the APC to reclaim the state. If he takes the bait and gets enmeshed in the politics of his state, he will be cheating the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that will amount to corruption. The APC has a good candidate and if the nullification of the election is sustained by the Supreme Court, I see no reason why APC will negligently yield the state to the PDP.

Having sacrificed his personal peace of mind for national unity by joining the APC and jettisoning his brother for Buhari, nature has now beckoned on him to take the challenge of being a national hero. He, like Fashola, represents a generation of politicians being prepared today for tomorrow’s cutting edge challenges. He will not only break my heart but will also infernally fritter away the chances of his generation to unify this country and place it on a path of sustained development if he fails on this critical assignment.

I would expect Amaechi to start assembling his own think-tank and developing principles that would guide his tenure as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I watched most of the screenings and I am convinced that not many of the Senators have a clear idea of the functions and roles of the office of a Minister of the Federal Republic. No Minister is going to be independent of the other Ministers. All Memos are robustly debated and considered during the Federal Executive Council meetings and as such every Minister is deemed to know everything about every other Ministry. To be effective, a Minister must have committed researchers and people with the ear to the ground to study the public mood. I know that the Government is broke but I do believe that the likes of the Amaechis do not have the wherewithal to invest in extra efforts that will make them effective in a Government that must effect a change if it is to justify the goodwill on which it rode into power.