Rotimi Amaechi

Wale Lawal

Supporters of Rotimi Amaechi, in a most bizarre manner, celebrate the re-appointment of Minister of Transportation as Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation

Rotimi Amaechi

Supporters of Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi took to the social media and other media platforms to celebrate the emergence of their leader as President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign director in next year’s general elections. As usual, Amaechi was addressed and described in highfaluting ways in virtually all the posts and comments.

The reappointment also afforded his followers, particularly in the Rivers State’s highly fractured All Progressives Congress APC, another opportunity to highlight Amaechi’s relevance both in Rivers State politics and the politics of the entire South-South.

But the festivity did not end without abuse and insult by the minister’s followers on those who had declared Amaechi unfit to lead the president’s 2019 re-election campaign. Even as the dust over this controversial appointment appears to have settled, many still wonder why the post of a Director-General in a campaign that is still in the future would generate so much interest and excitement at a time like this.

Other people, however, were taken aback by this celebratory mood in Rivers State even as the oil rich South-South state battles to survive the myriad of problems facing it. For nearly a decade now, Rivers has remained permanently in the news for all the wrong reasons. If the news is not about insecurity, surely it would be about one controversy or another between Amaechi and his estranged god son and friend, Chief Nyesom Wike who is now governor of Rivers State. There are also issues of infrastructure deficits, kidnapping, poor governance, infighting in the two dominant political parties in the state, witch-hunt and other matters that encumber good governance. Yet, the people in APC and PDP in the state still had time to bicker and haul invectives at each other over irrelevant issues.

Unfortunately, the celebration party, led mostly by the young, appears to be indifferent or grossly ignorant about the real issues confronting their state and the entire country today. Many have asked: what is the value of Amaechi’s emergence as Director-General of Buhari’s campaign organisation at a time like this? Will this appointment end the serious insecurity problem of Rivers State, address the unemployment crisis facing the state’s active youth and tackle all the pending issues in Rivers State and Nigeria?

Many have also wondered why a government that appears to be failing on all fronts would use the Yuletide and a New Year that was marked in hardship due to scarcity of fuel to announce its re-election bid. From every angle, the timing and this appointment are widely believed to be premature and inappropriate.

What is also incontestable is the fact that youths of other parts of Nigeria are as guilty as their colleagues in Rivers State that indulge unproductive ventures. This guilt also extends to every other Nigerian who watches idly as economic conditions, insecurity and unemployment worsen.

The verdict however, is that Nigerians must wake up to their realities as 2019 approaches. The people, who are ultimately the power wielders, must ensure that those holding office in trust must be made to pay for this kind of insensitivity and carelessness. That, to many, is the only way to build a new Nigeria.

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