Amaechi and the acid test of ministerial confirmation

Amaechi-CopyTHE process that led to the nominations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers, although it kept the Nigerian public waiting for a longer time than necessary, is a departure from the past.

Unlike before when state governors decided who would be nominated from their states, the president and a few close associates picked the nominees with utmost secrecy. Not even several media speculations got the list right before it was released. Aggrieved All Progressive Party (APC) governors and other party stakeholders kept their cool for reason best known to them.

One name on the list that drew much controversy was that of former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi who also served as Director General of Buhari Campaign and played vital role in the APC success in the 2015 polls. He has been in the negative and positive sides of the news since he parted ways with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the then President Goodluck Jonathan.

Towards the twilight of his second tenure as governor, he fought tough battles to save his political career in the face of his opposition to President Jonathan’s second term bid. Being from the same zone with Jonathan, many saw his stand as a betrayal of his people, while others described it as a matter of principle.

With the outcome of the last presidential poll, it appeared Amaechi had the last laugh for now.

When the Senate leadership set the rules for ministerial screening to include support from two senators from the nominee’s state, many thought Amaechi’s ministerial ambition is dashed. Added to his political predicaments was his alleged indictment by the judicial panel of inquiry set up by his political foe and successor, governor Nyesom Wike. An indictment many have described as political and unconstitutional.

Senate’s initial grandstanding that the screening exercise would not be business as usual gave some the impression that Amaechi would not scale the hurdles at the Red Chamber. This again was in line with the initial threat by the three PDP senators from Rivers to block his confirmation.

Thrice, his name was listed in the order paper for screening and thrice it was dropped. High-wire politics, suspense, and intrigues took centre stage. The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges investigating petitions against him became divided and politicized along party lines.

Some even insinuated that the delay and intrigues were to soften the ground for his screening following stiff opposition from the PDP senators. But others disagreed, alleging that it was a political strategy to bargain for soft landing for the Senate President over Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) trial. Surprising to Nigerians was that on the day of Ameachi’s screening, the PDP senators especially those from Rivers lost their voices.

That is a typical attitude and principle of an average Nigerian politician. They make noise in the open, negotiate and compromise in the secret because what is permanent and sacrosanct in the game is personal interest above every other thing.

Now that Amaechi has been screened, will be confirmed by the Senate, following another threat by the same PDP senators to block his confirmation? Can the PDP senators achieve it this time or will it be another political talk? Will APC senators unite and rally round him to save him and the party from PDP humiliation? Meanwhile between Amaechi and the senators, is there any difference? It seems there is none. It is only that they are different sides of the same coin.

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  • Richard Emamezi

    Amaechi would triumph. He is a hero of change

    • Whalerolex

      Hero of what change? All these people are playing with the future of the coming generation. It very obvious Amaechi’s nomination is a political compensation. All of them are thieves. Why him when we have more vibrant young Nigerians whose brains are working Iphone 6s compared to the likes of Amaechi, Audu Ogbeh etc (3310 brains).

      • Tope

        I watched the screening on TV and it was clear that Amaechi floored the PDP senators in their own chamber by failing to raise their voice. Even if they eventually succeed in blocking his confirmation, he has succeeded in winning the hearts of many skeptics especially with his declaration that he came with a copy of the panel of inquiry’s report which did not indict him. Up till now, River State government has not refuted his claim in this regard.

        • Whalerolex

          That’s not my point. I said his nomination is a political compensation. PDP senators were acting on selfish interests likewise Amaechi. They are all the same (rogues). Don’t be surprised if Amaechi contest for president in 2019 under PDP.

          • weisz

            Nothing stops Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi from contesting for any position in the land. That is the career path he has chosen, and his principle (whatever they might be) almost got him removed from office by the legislators of Mama Peace. He asked simple questions of his former boss, “Are you contesting for the Presidency?” and there was no response from him. Instead there was back door intrigues to remove for “betrayal”. Many of my people against Rt Hon Amaechi today, are smarting from his seeming betrayal of the former President. A president who admitted he didn’t do anything for them, a president who allowed rot in the system that was already fragile, a president who many of us canvassed for and voted en masse hoping for the breath of fresh air, yet we saw the loss of up to 300 girls entrusted in their care. Confirming Rt Hon Amaechi is not just a giving, it is a necessity for the Niger Delta people to have a vociferous and courageous man at the center. to push forward the development that he started, infrastructure and intellectual. You all think you can thwart his political career by preventing his ascent into central politics. YOU HAVE FAILED.

          • Whalerolex

            All the best with these bunch of clueless leaders.

        • Kehinde

          It only goes to show Nigeria politicians are not principled but only after personal interest.

  • Enyioko

    Nothing stops Amaechi’s confirmatiom.

  • Chukwu Michael

    What it means then was the silent from Rivers State Senators and PDP Senators especially, was because there was a dirty deal in the secret.Change and anti corruption war indeed.

  • Kehinde

    Nigeria politicians are not principled and, therefore, cannot be trusted. They are all children of the same evil gods