Apart from truth, entering an organisation with any other weapon is dangerous. The once revered Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has allowed its house to be invaded with brigandage, tinkering and bickering all in a bid to making sure that Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, who chairs the forum, is outdone. Conversely, what many of these politicians calling for Amaechi’s head do not understand or understood, but do not want to apply it in practice is that, finality is not the language of politics.
All the hackneyed meetings and plots to oust Amaechi as the NGF’s chairman have all failed. The anti-Amaechi who has applied every means to outdo him has only succeeded in attracting supporters in his favour. The early plot to relieve him of the NGF’s job met a setback, as many governors rose to defend him and stalled the kangaroo plot that was intended to disgrace him out of office as the NGF’s chairman, hence PDP Governors’ Forum was formed. Whatever this means!
Now, those who think that they are calling the shot in the newly formed forum are even tired. All their plans, as well, to disgrace Amaechi have hit the bricks wall. The recent attempt was thwarted by Northern governors. They apparently said that PDP Governors’ Forum cannot speak for a superior body as the NGF, in the PDP Governors Forum’s shopping for a candidate it wants to replace Amaechi.
As if that gesture by the Northern governors was not enough, the Rivers conclave in the Federal House of Representatives in the National Assembly had to throw their weight behind Amaechi, though not actually for the impasse at the NGF, but in what they described as Amaechi’s people-oriented projects. Even though that Amaechi might have not gotten all the aspects of governance right in the state, if he were a bad person as the Abuja PDP members fighting him wanted Nigerians to believe, his kinsmen from Rivers State, who are also members of the party, would not have garrulously supported his government. In news reports of the New York Times, Dec. 11, 2006, Mr. Barack Obama said that we (not Nigerians) have come to be consumed by a 24-hour, slash-and-burn, negative ad, bickering, small-minded politics that doesn’t move us forward. Sometimes one side is up and the other side is down. But there’s no sense that they are coming together in a common-sense, practical, nonideological way to solve the problems that we face.
As if Obama had NGF at heart when he made that comment, there are many counterfeits-politicians that have made mockery of politics is Nigeria. They see politics as an end, a product that they would not like another to have, an art of government that is orchestrated to run the citizenry down for the exaltation of the few. They think that to form the PDP Governors’ Forum would bring Amaechi to disrepute, but they are yet to succeed, because Amaechi is waxing stronger and stronger and having popular vote in his favour. In Have Faith in Massachusetts a Calvin Coolidge said of the small-minded politicians that politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been placed upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service.
The politics in Nigeria has indeed come to mean craftiness and petty mudslinging one another. Those who are bent in making sure that Amaechi is removed think that Nigerians are not reading their handwriting on the wall. If there are people who understand this handwriting better, they are the governors from the north, who have assumed that the plot to remove Amaechi was to make a northerner the NGF’s chairman, which will in turn close out power shift to the North in 2015. (Notwithstanding this reading, the north has to support Ndigbo in 2015 to produce an Igbo presidency).
While Amaechi’s beam-light is not bleak to seek a second term in office as NGF chair in May, those who are presumably against him are having breaking beam-lights. In Lacon, a Charles Caleb Colton said that shrewd and crafty politicians, when they wish to bring about an unpopular measure, must not go straight forward to work, if they do they will certainly fail; and failures to men in power, are like defeats to a general, they shake their popularity. Therefore, since they cannot sail in the teeth of the wind, they must tack, and ultimately gain their object, by appearing at times to be departing from it.
This is the pattern of the game they are using against Amaechi who is already vindicated. The shrewd and crafty politicians and politics obtained in this clime made the insinuation recently believable that the forces against Amaechi went as far as instigating the Rivers State House of Assembly against Amaechi, but the move did not hold waters; the attempt didn’t go as planned. The House once characterised as Amaechi’s rubber stamp passed a vote of confidence on the governor. The next move against Amaechi might be to deploy the anti-graft agencies in Rivers State, in what colleagues have described, as part of a grand plot to check “the Amaechi phenomenon”.
In Jitterbug Perfume, a Tom Robbins said that Modern Romans insisted that there was only one god, a notion that struck Alobar as comically simplistic. Worse, this Semitic deity was reputed to be jealous (what was there to be jealous of if there were no other gods?), vindictive, and altogether foul-tempered. If you didn't serve the nasty fellow, the Romans would burn your house down. If you did serve him, you were called a Christian and got to burn other people's houses down.
Like Robbins describes the mentality of the Modern Romans, such can be likened to some Nigerian politicians. When they have seen that all their plans against Amaechi did not yield, they are making a bogus claim that Amaechi is about to launch media war against them; in what was termed “security reports indicating that Amaechi is planning to launch a media war”. They made this sound like Amaechi was recruiting insurgents that would attack Nigeria. These are all in their bid to continue to cite public hate against Amaechi and smear his political career. But he has been vindicated. This could be the reason a David Shore, House M.D., said in Three Stories, (2004) that it's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what. The weird thing about telling someone they're dying is it tends to focus their priorities. You find out what matters to them. What they're willing to die for. What they're willing to lie for.
What is the anti-Amaechi in and out of NGF out to gain by all the rofo-rofo against him? What are they lying and dying for? They make politics in this country look dirty that anybody might want to vomit at its mention. Imagine that because it concerns Amaechi, some politicians are taking “civic media” as “intelligence report”. No wonder that in Advice to Youth, a Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) has to say that the history of our race, and each individual's experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal. Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), in letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, (July 18, 1864), reminds us that truth is generally the best vindication against slander.
It is because the anti-Amaechi, as NGF’s chair has sold the truth, is the profound reason it is getting supplementary confused and resorted to causing the country high temperature.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Phone: +2348032552855 (OR) +2348057778358. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org