By Akanimo Sampson, Port Harcourt
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, one of the key oil-producing states in Nigeria, and leaders of the opposition Action Congress, AC, are locked in a backstage political talks to hammer out a generally acceptable formula for the Unity Government proposed by the governor who took over from the largely illegitimate Celestine Omehia’s administration on Friday night.
Since the flawed April 14 governorship polls in the oil state that was rocked by a cult crisis, AC has remained a thorn in the flesh of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. AC is still insisting that it press ahead with its legal battle with the ruling party at the elction tribunal.
Apparently not comfortable with the seeming uncompromising stance of the opposition party, there was a high wire talks between the kingpins of the new regime and those of the AC. As at Monday afternoon, Amaechi was sealthily exploiting his robust relationship with the AC governorship candidate in the April 14 election, Tonye Princewill, to ensure that they join hands together to move the state forward.
Given the decay of the past eight years in a state that is generally believed to be hauling some monthly revenue of around N20billion, insiders say the new administration is desperate to turn around the state’s ”embarrassing” socio-economic condition.
In a tactical move to assist the administration reinvent ”a liberal, democratic, and pluralistic Rivers state, where social justice, fairplay, and equity reigns”, AC says they have submitted what approximates to a peoples chater of development to the Amaechi administration.
Exerpts from that document which was made available to this reporter on Monday, by Princewill’s Media Consultant, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, shows:
* Amaechi should by Monday, October 29, freeze all the accounts of the State Government if he has not done so to stop further looting of our common patrimony.
* The State Independent Electoral Commission as presently illegally constituted should be dissolved and more credible Commission constituted to organize a free and fair Local Government polls in the State.
*The Committee set-up by the villainous administration of Sir Celestine Omehia out of malice to demolish the water fronts should be dissolved pending the time when the Government will take a holistic approach in solving the neglect, embarrassment and menace the water fronts have constituted to the general psych of our people as a State. An approach that will give governance in the State a human face should be adopted to assuage the traumatic experience our people have being foisted with these past eight and half years of mal-administration.
*We did advise from the beginning that Sir Celestine Omehia’s administration will be short-lived but only few people believed us until we were vindicated by the Supreme Court famous ruling of 25 th October, 2007 nullifying his illegal imposition on our people. We have as a concerned people that loved Omehia more than the glutton and gastronome cronies that held him hostage advised that he should for his own good not change any curtain in the Government House, sadly we learnt that he has not only changed the curtains but even removes some doors. In this regard, Governor Amaechi must set-up a Probe Panel to unearth the fraud committed in most of the over bloated contracts so far awarded with the intention of recovery back to the purse of the State funds illegally misappropriated into private purses these past eight and half years. The alleged N2 billion houses being constructed by Sir Celestine Omehia both in Port Harcourt at Ubima must be investigated and the findings made public. The billions of Naira which Omehia was duped in pursuing this particular case at the Supreme Court alleged by the Beam Newspapers in its 24 th October edition must be investigated to let the public know the source of such huge amount of money. The N50 billion Naira Hotel being constructed by Sir Peter Odili alleged by the National Daily Newspaper must be investigated and such a property restored back to the State. Every level or promotion of corruption in any standard must be stopped in order to restore the evasive glorious state of our State.
*State of Emergency should be declared in all facets of governance in the State to address the deplorable and state of despair of our educational, Health, Security sectors; our unmotorable roads, lack of basic amenities in our communities and the unacceptable unemployment level of our Youths.
*Amaechi’s Government must cultivate and inculcate the spirit of comradeship, give and take and unity among our people in order to restore their faith and hope in government. Urgent steps must be taken to woo the Stake-holders, the elders, traditional, religious Leaders, politicians, and militants to collaborate and work with the government into building a virile and egalitarian State of our dream. Apology must be rendered to all our elders abused by the unafrican out-gone administration that lacks respect for our culture, tradition and constituted institutions. In carrying out this; a government of Unity should be constituted involving all and sundry without any political party affliction or sundry considerations.
We hereby urge all our members in short all Rivers State people to collaborate and assist this government within the short period at its disposal before the Election Tribunal decides its fate to bring back sanity into governance in the State. Our Youths must give this administration a chance to succeed by disconnecting with all acts that are avarice to peace and unity of our people including all forms of kidnapping, abduction and hostage-taking. Our battered image before our country men and the International Community must be repainted positively henceforth. The greatness and future of our State is ours to build. In this regard we will appeal to the Rivers State of House of Assembly to put aside partisan politics and collaborate with the new Governor into turning around the fortunes of the State. There are by the virtue of their positions the representatives of our people and should be expected to respect the views of constituted institutions and disregard any step to lure them into contemplating of any unwise impeachment act against the new administration as we will not tolerate any act of sabotage in any form. Every patriotic sons and daughters of Rivers State should rally round our son Amaechi for the rebuilding of the wasted eight years in our life as a State pending when we take over the reins of governance.
We as a party and Organization have no other State than Rivers State and because of that we are ready to collaborate and assist the Amaechi’s administration so far he toes the paths of honour, democratic principles, righteousness, respect for rule of law, emancipation of our people, respect for our elders and culture, prudent management of our resources and evolving of policies and programmes geared towards restoring the lost glory of our dear State and should he for any reason whatsoever divert from these paths; he will not only lose our support but respect. We expect him to accord us the same support when the Election Tribunal may have overturned his administration very soon.
Meanwhile, the AC has commended the sacked Omehia regime for coming to terms quickly with the fact that the Supreme Court judgment was an act of God and that there was nothing he could do to change the verdict.