July 20, 2013 – How Governor Amaechi’s Enemies Disgraced Rivers State At Port-Harcourt Airport
A lot has been happening lately in Rivers State: From pro-Governor Chibuike Amaechi protesters to anti-Amaechi protesters and the fight at the House of Assembly. Many individuals and groups have added their voices on the crises. Many have sued for peace, more wars, transparency, equity, democratic norms, abhorrence of brickbats, bickering, tinkering, and every quagmires that have been rocking the state.
It is, however, dishonorable that some persons have thrown hospitality known of the residents of Rivers State to the winds on Tuesday 16 2013, and molested some governors, who were on a unity visit and in a tribute to Gov. Amaechi, over the incessant man-made chaos in the state. Such arrogant move by the scoundrels is condemnable, un-called for, undemocratic, foolery.
The act was morbid and revealed how immature some persons are in handling their differences with their political rivals. The people who went to the airport to abuse the governors have shown how desperate they were in making sure that the already battered image of the country was not redeemed before the comity of nations. These persons might think that they wanted to spoil the image of the state, but have further succeeded in bringing Nigeria to disrepute.
It was reprehensible why the police, according to accounts, were unresponsive and refused to dismiss the crowd of the alleged troublemakers who had gathered at the airport to assault the governors of Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger who visited the Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Amaechi. The meaning of the tactless statement that was credited to the Police Commissioner in the state, Mbu Joseph Mbu and his men, who ought to have acted to protect the safety of these governors at the airport, but, rather, resorted to saying, “the airport is a public place for everyone to visit”, can’t be found in any dictionary.
It has become obvious that the presidency might not be unconnected with these troubles in Rivers State. An archetypal of this was reportedly in a statement issued by Ibim Semenitari, Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications thus: “There were jitters in the presidency over the visit of governors of Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano and Niger to Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi in Port Harcourt, today Tuesday 16, 2013. Members of the Nyesom Wike’s campaign organisation Grassroot Democratic Initiative GDI, had mobilised hoodlums to disrupt the visit…”
If the story making the rounds is true that a four litre cask suspected to contain some acid was found beside the mob, there is no gainsaying the fact that the mob was very careless. Persons like Wike should be admonished to remember how the state was once ransacked by hoodlums and, whether he wants the state to retrogress to that era of absurdity, because of political differences.
It is unfortunate that Mbu was credited to have denied knowledge of the mob being-there at the airport, even though the police conditioned that the airport is a civic place and everyone has a right to visit without restraint and unconstrained, it could be blubbered that not even a peaceful protest should have been meted out to the governors, who were themselves peaceful. Now, what would be the fate of Wike to the states of these governors that his group were said to have molested, should he one day venture into any of them, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
Governor Amaechi should be acclaimed (as news reports has it that he had arrived earlier in the morning of that day to wait for his guests) for showing exceptional adulthood. If pro-Amaechi group had mobilised against this show of shame, the news would have been different today; the consequentiality would have been either bloodbaths or something very awful than we have experienced.
In a press statement released by the governors shortly after their meeting with Gov. Amaechi and after visiting some perceived developmental strides of the governor, every resident of Rivers State should send his or her lamentation to the governors that there was nothing wrong with their visit to Gov. Amaechi, at least, for being their chairman in the NGF. The governors should be applauded for embracing the spirit of communalism and showing same, which is a potent part of democracy. Therefore, they should also be asked not to see the residents as being hostile, but should see the act of insensitivity as the handiwork of gangsters, who have refused to change and embrace positivity.
Those fomenting troubles in the state should change their ways and hug peace.
About the author: Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Tel: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]