An Address Presented By the Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom His Majesty, King Prof T. J. T. Princewill, CFR, JP, Amachree XI On the Occasion of the Courtesy Visit on the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Right Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, CON on June 11, 2013
On behalf of the chiefs and citizen of the Kalabari Kingdom, I thank Your Excellency for making out time from your busy schedule to receive us today.
At certain times in the life of a man, the public expression of the love, goodwill, admiration and support of friends and relatives may be highly desirable. For us as Kalabari people, this is a good time to show our solidarity with our son, brother, friend and Governor, Chibuike Amaechi. The last time we interacted with you with a full house of our people, we were all distressed and left in perplexity by what appeared to be a deliberate or inadvertent balkanization of the
Kalabari Kingdom. We were given the impression that Soku, an ancient Kalabari Community was no longer in Rivers State. We concede that in the natural course of growth, it is not impossible that the Kalabari Kingdom may spread across State boundaries in the Nigerian Federation.
However, the precise location of Kalabari towns and communities across states ought to be with our knowledge and consent; not by arbitrary division, the rationale of which is lost on us.
May we use this opportunity to thank Your Excellency for the swiftness and persistence with which you have committed to this battle to restore Soku and other Kalabari communities to the Kalabari Kingdom.
It would be apposite, in the same vein, to join other men and women of goodwill resident in Rivers State to tender our gratitude to you for the growth and development in the core areas which your administration is focused on. The investments in health, particularly primary Health Care; in education, in infrastructure, enhancing the capacity of
teachers, and quality assurance; and in agriculture, especially fish farming, compel us to say thank you.
It would be an oversight not to thank Your Excellency for sending our children to study abroad under generous scholarships. Neither would it appropriate for us to fail to say thank you for our brethren in various positions of responsibility, especially the Right Honourable Otelemaba Dan Amachree, the Honourable Speaker of the Rivers State
House of Assembly in whom we are well pleased. He has maintained the principle of separation of powers while aligning the making of good laws to a shared vision for development. It is our hope that the confidence you have reposed in them will take you all to the finishing line.
May we quickly congratulate you on your re-election as chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, while appealing to your colleagues and indeed all other Nigerians, including the media to see how all the contending issues can be resolved amicably in the interest of the nation. For us as Kalabari people, we can confidently say that despite all odds, you have provided visionary and purposeful leadership for the state. We cannot pretend that your administration has delivered on its mandate. We align with all your pro-people initiatives and express our unalloyed support to your administration. We will stand with you at all times.
Our dear governor, we would not like to be associated with the proverbial ostrich, which allegedly hides its head in sand, rather than confront and overcome challenges. We have inferred that there is a political crisis in which Your Excellency is in the eye of the storm. Your Excellency, we might not know the background or the dynamics of all these events but we perceive that all is not well between you and His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The President is your brother and in-law. Brethren are bound to disagree but as the Holy Bible informs us, we need not let the sun go down on our anger.
It is against this background that we call for reconciliation of all the parties to the disputes, whether real or perceived. We are not merely calling on you and the president to settle your differences; we are offering ourselves as emissaries and mediators. We do not want history to judge us harshly, as having stood by when two brothers had a slight misunderstanding which we allowed to grow into a huge
When you are free from these distractions, we believe that you would re-double your focus on delivering good governance in Rivers State. Our expectation is that it would result in measured political, economic and social empowerment for Rivers people, but especially Kalabari people.
Finally, the Kalabari people as an ethnic nationality would continue to work with you. We pledge our loyalty and unflinching support to
Your Excellency’s administration.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Long live Rivers State of Nigeria!
Long live Chibuike Amaechi!