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#OtvOPINIONS: Oshiomhole and Amaechi’s race for VP slot by Tamuno West-Greene

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These are quite ridiculous times politically
speaking with all manner of nonsense coming
out from politicians as they seek to outdo one
another in this rat race they dress up in the
altruistic robe of serving the people. Yesterday,
it was Rotimi Amaechi who mounted the podium
at Adokiye Amesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt,
the capital of Rivers state that he has plunged
into chaos as governor, and openly denigrated
the person, family and office of the Nigerian
President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
The Rivers Governor’s favourite strategy these
days aimed at convincing the leadership of his
party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), that
he is the ideal candidate for the position of
running mate to the anointed opposition
presidential candidate, General Muhammadu
Buhari, is to throw caution to the wind in raining
abuses on President Jonathan and the First
Lady. Thus at the APC mega rally on October 25,
2014, Amaechi, dancing weirdly with a broom in
hand like a junky Reggae singer, said many
unprintable things about the Federal
Government.
Apparently not getting the right attention with
his deceitful propaganda of how President
Jonathan has marginalised the Rivers people,
Amaechi has decided to go personal in his
desperate bid to be named APC’s vice
presidential candidate. He had told the crowd
mobilised from all the states governed by APC
(ostensibly to show how the opposition party has
become entrenched in the President’s own
backyard) that, at the root of his disagreement
with the President was his refusal to “share
Rivers money with the First Lady.”
It is not amusing to some of us who are
indigenes of Rivers State the despicable manner
in which our governor has carried on. Today,
minor governance issues like traffic management
in Port Harcourt has gravely degenerated
because the state seems to be on auto-pilot,
with our governor only interested in his own
selfish ambition of becoming vice president in
2015. It is profoundly shameful that Governor
Amaechi was boasting about the stadium he
built in Port Harcourt, where he held his so-
called mega rally when his peer, Godswill
Akpabio, the governor of neighbouring Akwa
Ibom has built, completed and commissioned
one of the finest stadiums in the world today,
the Nest of Champions, in Uyo. When last did
Amaechi visit Akwa Ibom State? Maybe a short
trip to that state will teach our garrulous
governor in Port Harcourt what service to the
people means! Or maybe, we the people have a
huge stomach to tolerate the shenanigans of an
over ambitious and selfish governor imposed on
us by the courts!
But Amaechi is not the only one scheming to be
APC vice presidential candidate. The comrade
governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, is
giving Amaechi a good run for his money. It is
therefore not surprising that the two states, Edo
and Rivers, seem to have quite a lot in common.
First, their governors are overly ambitious.
Second, both Amaechi and Oshiomhole are
clearly distracted from the main issues of
governance. Third, following from the above, the
two states are in confusion and flux of unrest.
Oshiomhole who, hitherto, had shown some
level-headedness in his relationship with
President Jonathan had most recently gone off-
tangent. As if someone had whispered to him
that Amaechi was about to steal the APC
presidential running mate slot from him, the
governor of Edo State has employed the dirty
tactics of his colleague and competitor steeped
in blackmail and falsehood. Speaking on
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the Samuel
Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, during an
APC rally to mark his sixth year anniversary as
governor, Oshiomhole accused Jonathan of
doing nothing for Edo State. Specifically he
openly alleged that the President only came to
resurface a road built by the military in the
state.
“What is the Scorecard of the PDP in Edo State
and in Nigeria? The PDP has commissioned the
resurfacing of Ofosu to Benin Road in a period
of 16 years. That is all PDP has to show in Edo
State for over a period of 16 years. The PDP
Federal Government controls 52.8 % of declared
federal collections and Edo State share of that
52.8 % and all they have to show in 16 years is
the resurfacing of Ofosu-Benin old carriage
way”, stated Oshiomhole.
Is Oshiomhole as ignorant and ungrateful as to
state that resurfacing of a road that has failed is
not a viable project? When last did Oshiomhole
travel on the Shagamu/Benin Expressway? Well,
it is understandable that all APC governors now
have one or two personal jets and helicopters
with which they gallivant about plotting the
destabilisation of the country with their
incendiary remarks and falsehoods.
It is indeed shameful and speaks of the calibre
of leadership in APC that a governor’s only
understanding of good governance and
dividends of democracy is the mundane
reference to roads, bridges and other physical
infrastructure. If Oshiomhole who, in that rally
was teaching his listeners his half-baked
knowledge of etymology of the word “fall”, is
literate enough, he would have understood that
President Jonathan, by guaranteeing his people
the ambience of freedom and liberty to exercise
their rights, especially their right of choice,
which made their votes count and got him
(Oshiomhole) elected, has given them the best
that governance can offer. In any case, how do
we expect Oshiomhole whose record of
education is still shrouded in doubts to grasp
this seemingly very abstract logic?
“Power changes the nature of men”,
Shakespeare had warned. Even then, the
desperate ambition for the same power is even
more dangerous on politicians. Who would have
thought that the same Oshiomhole who was
effusively grateful to Jonathan on the morning
of his electoral victory for his statesmanlike
decision to ensure that the votes count in Edo
gubernatorial election will be the one challenging
the President to a wrestling match today?

This Article was originally published on OPINIONS.NG

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