The re-run that concluded Amaechi



I don’t know how much of the Rivers State re-run election is still outstanding. What I do know is that whatever that is outstanding will not be sufficient to return former governor of the state and now transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi to political reckoning. For reasons best known to it, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is releasing the outcomes piecemeal, almost under cover, as if they were stolen items. It has announced 15 results of which the PDP won 13 and the APC two.

Almost all other elections, except the governorship, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court, were annulled by the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt. Elections into the three senatorial seats, 12 federal constituencies and 22 state constituencies in the state, all won by the PDP were voided. Naturally, elements in the APC, and they include Rotimi Amaechi and the party’s flag bearer in the governorship election, Dakuku Peterside, interpreted the large-scale judicial reversals as confirmation of their claims that the 2015 general elections in Rivers State were massively rigged in favour of the PDP.

In fact, the Supreme Court’s January 27 validation of Nyesome Wike’s election as governor only short-changed, as it seemed, a grand calculation to have fresh polls altogether in Rivers State. Amaechi and his supporters, after what happened in 2015, needed another chance to prove a point about their inevitability in Rivers politics. Specifically, the re-match was to settle who between the top gladiators, Wike and Amaechi, would pass as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Rivers politics.

And I want to add that a man does not become a generalissimo by loud proclamations. It comes with real and measurable exploits. The title is also not an aspiration; it is a description of real state of prowess. In the end, Amaechi, who talked loudest of a plan to dispatch Wike and return Rivers State to its rightful owners, the APC, came very short of his pre-battle proclamations. He had entered Port Harcourt almost triumphantly, even when the battle had not started. On his own and ahead of contest, he had declared victors and a vanquished. When the outcomes were not adding up, he retreated to Abuja quietly.

Amaechi’s second chance at self-assertion has just failed. I am not too sure if there will be a third chance to do the same thing in a world where even a second opportunity to recover what was lost in the first attempt is not always guaranteed. It is usually advisable to cut deepest with the first cut in case there is no other chance to strike again. The first time, Amaechi had eloquently explained his failure. He was up against a federal force and he had never stopped shouting that he was impeded by the overwhelming federal forces from staying on top of the processes in Rivers State in 2015.

God heard his voice and reversed the scenario in the March 19 rematch. Wike, who was a minister in 2015, has become a governor and Amaechi, who was governor then, has become a minister with total control of the so-called overwhelming federal forces. He was in the mood to maximally deploy his arsenal and finish matters once and for all. The usurper of his God-given throne must be dislodged.

But as it was on April 11 2015, so it is on March 19, and perhaps, ever shall be in Rivers politics till Amaechi changes strategy and tactics. Amaechi failed again and he is blaming it all on local forces, which miraculously overwhelmed his federal forces and kept him as an underdog. It does not matter what the distant and self-appointed interpreters of Rivers politics will say, the truth remains that the outcomes are not going to change significantly even if the Rivers re-run election were to run a thousand times.

I am saying that the issues are deeper than what the so-called Lagos press is prepared to capture. That Amaechi is placed by providence on a tall tree as a minister does not make him an eagle. He remains a ‘political chicken’ who is less able to defy the raging storm and soar to greater heights. He can only descend to his level which is already happening.

Be that as it may, Amaechi had the opportunity to build the capacity of an eagle when the same providence made him governor in 2007. All he needed do was to weave a new consensus around the forces that sought to enthrone and the counter forces that sought to destroy him in the build-up to the 2007 governorship contest in the state to develop a new leadership base that would approximate most aspirations. He would then remain in the centre of that transparent leadership base as the new hope of the people of Rivers State.

Unfortunately, Amaechi neither had the vision nor the sincerity of purpose to move things forward. He was obsessed with just acquiring power for his own purpose. And his purpose was to obliterate the old guards in an unrestrained vengeance mission and raise a new breed that would defer totally to him. He appropriated a status he had not attained in Rivers politics. Himself an upstart, he robed himself a grandmaster and became the head of a colony of upstarts. But because he had the means to make noise about a fathom prowess, he was taken too seriously by the APC stakeholders and other observers.

Now, the chickens are coming home to roost. Simply, Amaechi, even as a minister, does not have what it takes to impact the fundamentals of Rivers politics. He is, perhaps, taking the miracle of 2007 when he became governor without standing for election and without help from high quarters, too far. He now sees himself as God’s chosen who cannot be vanquished in battles. It is always the case with persons who lay claim to some strange anointing. They don’t know when that anointing expires. It happened to King Saul. He did not know when the spirit of God departed from him and in his delusion, he had moved against the purpose of God.

If the Grace is sufficient to strike a height, the character to stay on top and even soar, remains the responsibility of the individual. To be fair, God has done His bit regarding Amaechi but he, Amaechi, has failed to combine character with grace to remain tenable. He is on a political down turn not because of limited opportunities, but his inordinate quest for personal glory, which belies the purpose of God to make everyman/woman a servant and not master of humanity.

In other words, Amaechi cannot seek God outside the people of Rivers State. He should allow the people to decide. At Easter last year, he converted himself to a cross bearer; carrying a version that was almost bigger than the one bore by the Lord Christ Himself on the way to Calvary. It was a calculated spectacle to underscore the so-called persecution of Amaechi by hostile quarters and how he hoped to survive his travails clinging to the Old Rugged Cross. He forgot, for whatever reason, to re-enact the spectacle this year.

But now that there is fear of fresh persecution by local forces as against federal forces and as evident in the Rivers re-run, the cross bearing spectacle may return soon. Amaechi must reclaim his possession from enemies at all costs. The cost so far in terms of men and material is huge. It includes the death of a Youth Corps member and many others and destruction of property worth hundreds of millions. Still, the re-run remains inconclusive and yet unclear what it will cost to make it conclusive.

Even so, the Supreme Court had done so much with its validation of the governorship election in Rivers and other states to save cost. The cost in human and material loss could only be imagined if the governorship were among the elective seats open for grabs in the inconclusive Rivers State re-run. The cost is still running pending when INEC will make the re-run conclusive.

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  • The Trib3sman

    “At Easter last year, he converted himself to a cross bearer; carrying a version that was almost bigger than the one bore by the Lord Christ Himself on the way to Calvary. It was a calculated spectacle to underscore the so-called persecution of Amaechi by hostile quarters and how he hoped to survive his travails clinging to the Old Rugged Cross. He forgot, for whatever reason, to re-enact the spectacle this year.”

  • Edim Asekong

    And to say that ordained men of God were prayerfully behind Amaechi in this comic display is most troubling.

    • Uzoma

      Lord have mercy!

    • newday

      Parade of false prophets

  • Mazi JO

    Absolutely, man! It was the Great Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neal, the legendary Man of the US House who once quipped, “All politics are local” When a Politician loses his base; his grass-roots, he is a listing ship destined to sink. When this possession was gestating, I know how many times unofficially I suggested a way out.

  • Emmanuel S B Wilcox

    What more can be said? Anyway I have never taken the former governor and now tranport minister Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as a serious person but frantically, his deperation on who runs Rivers State Goverrnment was quite disturbing and called for a brain racking excercise especially to the fact that himself knows that he was decieving himself and possibly the Presidancy that believed that he can win an election in Rivers State which he could not achieve as a sitting governor, secondly, the party platform APC he is working from is very very alien to the least Rivers person which throws any right thinking person around Rivers State how he was going to perform any form of magic to win an election even if the American Navy Seals, Russian KGB, English C15 & service men from the Scotland yard and or even the Gendarmes from Cameroun, Togo, Benin Republic Chad etc are all arranged for and given to him to help him rig election and win in Rivers State.

    My worries was just for those who for any reason whatsoever were running after him with whatever thinking which considerably was and sti.ll remains folly especially those involved in killing and killed in the election processes.

    I am now very convinced and will believe that the truth about Rotimi C. Amaechi being a well “Sketched on canvass or billboard tiger/ lion of the Niger Delta” is now known to all and sundry in the arena of Nigerian politics and beyond with the show of shame criminally displayed in all the elections held in Rivers State from 2015 and especially March Re-Run of 2016.

    All thanks to God as the Supreme Court of Nigeria has been vindicated to all extent for the abuse, insult and all those dirty rantings made by APC on the Supreme Court judges because of the judgement it delivered sustaining Chief Nyesom E. Wike’s victory at the governorship election held in Rivers State in 2015, I have been expecting the APC to show some remorse by ways of directly or indirectly tendering apologies to the apex for their foolishness and they have failed to do so. however, the God of JUSTICE will trap them someday.

    Howbeit, I wonder the next antics and lies Rotimi C. Amaechi, APC, the Lais and their likes will have to deploy to Nigerians that listens to them as the watching world is watching and the PDP waiting is waiting for any form of deployment.

  • loveontopover

    Look, the PDP are using the people they put in power at the supreme court to make Nigeria remain the same no matter the efforts of the new administration! This is hugely sad as it does not benefit even those who are participating in this inglorious activity. The most regrettable thing here is that Buhari seems not understand what these people are doing to his administration and Nigerians as a whole! The governorship election in the Rivers State was flawed to its alphabets, who did not see that? Yet the supreme acted as if they lived elsewhere other than Nigeria and upheld it! The people are already tired of buhari and his administration, not that we wish the PDP back. Never!!

    • Neu

      Lamentation of Jeremiah.
      Please what’s ur mind. Be straight

    • ologs

      When Supreme court passes judgement, it becomes law where no law exist. it is as their Lordship pleases, and moreso for our benefits. You and I can only learn. Your attacks can only destroy our peaceful society.

  • Ify Onabu

    Amaechi thinks that by decamping to APC, the entire people of Rivers state will follow him in his madness. Now he knows that the people of Rivers are not as desperate as he is. They are comfortable with the PDP and this has been expressed in the polls. Amaechi should accept that he is not indispensable in Rivers politics.

  • newday

    Peterside was never material for any state-wide election. He was counting on ethnic zoning and once that fizzled out he was toast.

  • Amaechi has failed APC in Rivers State. Amaechi is an electoral failure in Rivers State. If Amaechi is already crashing this way in 2015 when Governor Wike’s administration has barely impacted on the people of Rivers State, then by 2018 prior to the 2019 general elections he will come flattened and with no space. Poor Amaechi!

  • ahamefule emmanuel

    Amaechi is no body in rivers state, he should go and sleep. we don’t need a traitor among us. he is a thief.

  • Country Man

    Excellent piece! Rivers former governor actually put it succinctly – “you will never know a man fully until he acquires power and money”. That was the case of Amaechi. He became something else immediately he secured the second tenure in office. Alas, many were deceived into believing that he carried any political weight in Rivers state. Amaechi knows that he cannot win any election in Rivers state. Unfortunately, Amaechi mismanaged the glorious opportunities God gave him due to his mad quest for power and arrogance. Anyone that loves him should pray that he does not destroy himself…

  • Alom Ekenekot

    The description with “Local forces” , and ” Federal Forces” is a very exact metaphorically. Amaechi has traced his failures to “local Forces” and Federal Forces”. I wish he would sit down and come to terms with the actual reasons why he failed. When Amaechi lost his initial governorship bid at the primaries, it was a “K-leg federal forces” at work. When the Supreme Court transferred a governorship title he never worked for from the labours and sweat of his countryman, it was “justice from the federal forces”. We cannot forget in a hurry that Amaechi atop the “Local forces’ unjustifiably closed down the Action congress of Nigeria’s campaign office of Dr. Sekibo George who campaign in a gubernatorial contest against him. I wish Dr. Sekibo George would have carried a “masked Cross” to parade the street. He kept quiet in the face brazen injustice orchestrated by the assumed grandmaster of local forces. This same Grandmaster calculated that annexing the “Federal forces” would provide “more coercive power to do extra” what he did to Dr. Sekibo George, and brazen overnight election where all APC became local Government Chairmen.” Local forces” with “Local money” were used to enthrone a sympathetic “federal force” that does not mind a local robbery for its initiation. ACN office was closed down in PortHarcourt. ACN later transpose into APC Amaechi was a very Significant part of this transpose. Guess what!, Amaechi cannot find a room or office for APC or ACN in Rivers State. He had unknowingly destroyed it. We can All learn from this.

  • Uncle Jay

    The sad thing about Rivers State is that all the top players without exception are all obsessed with power for themselves and not for the people …. no wonder such carnage and “Rivers of Blood, Tears and Misery”!!!

  • Kelly

    Succinctly written, the guy is over bloated and he has over rated himself to his down fall. Mark this Amaechi can’t go further than this politically

  • bruce uba

    Bro. Abraham, Thanks for your erudite piece! I am not sure why politics has to be a do or die affair for our people, even in an anti corruption regime? One would have thought that Amaechi would “settle down” to develop a vision and a strategy for his office as Minister, leaving Rivers State and it’s governance alone for a while, while he proves his competence at the Federal Level! But alas, he wants to be “king of Rivers” at all cost. What a shame!

  • Mizch

    A good piece! Can anyone, any politician learn?

  • kelvin

    They are all the same people.decamping from one party to the other dos not change anything.Amachi has been in PDP for years,he just left a year ago so he is involve in the rought of PDP.he is carrying a cross,is he moking God or what is he doing. If the federal government is serious all the members of PDP that decamped to APC should be prosecuted because they kept the nation where it is today. Even the president have skeleton in his carboard.

  • Ify Onabu

    Amaechi has exhausted his political options in Rivers state. Now, he is a nobody! Governors who decamp from one political party to another should not think that our people are so naive as to follow the footsteps of political prostitution.

  • bangiso mhlabeni

    Foolish man as bUhari’s minister.

  • Nigerdelta Renaissance

    Amaechi is a failure. He failed as governor of Rivers state and threatened democracy by obliterating other arms of government