Amaechi's Coat Of Many Colours
When a politician says 'yes' he means maybe. When he says maybe he means no, and when he says no he is no politician. When Edwina Currie made this philosophical statement hundreds of decades ago, foolhardy would it seem to think the import would capture the 21st political drama of Rivers politics.
Here, as is presently the case, the dramatic personae christened in political parlance as political gladiators whose great parents were unborn when the statement was made are living true to this assertion.
Though like the Chinese, all politicians look alike, in no other political party of all the 91 registered political organizations by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has deceit been so elevated to the revered seat of a high priest, where lying is the official language like the All Progressives Congress, APC, across the country but particularly conspicuous in Rivers State.
With a fair knowledge and still some flash-backs of his 'yes' or 'no' nature while he held sway as the Executive Governor of Rivers State between 2007 and 2015, one is wont to think that this seemingly accursed APC must be responsible for Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi's new seeming black and white nature.
Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is a kind, friendly personality no doubt. Some say he is kind to a fault.
That he is also ambitious and temperamentally dangerous is not in doubt either. To confirm this, just try to dare him. But of all these attributes, this new nature of not keeping to his words and seemingly attracted to bringing brothers together for a head-on collision is alien and demands some serious probe.
Just recently, the teeming members of the APC in Rivers State woke up in the morning only to be greeted with the saddening, sorry, cheering news of the endorsement of a business mogul, precisely the Managing Director of Sahara Energy, a global oil/gas company, Tonye Dele Cole as the APC gubernatorial candidate for the 2019 general elections in Rivers State.
Could this be a mere proposal or a coup d'etat some reasoned but definitely not the devastated supporters of Mr. Adolphus Dakuku Peterside.
Tonye Dele Cole is a blue blood of Kalabari kingdom and speculated to have been very close associate of Rt. Hon. Amaechi and that both senior citizens have stakes in the global oil conglomerate.
Dakuku Peterside, currently the director general of NIMASA, has been an ardent supporter and ally of the Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi.
Dakuku was Amaechi's Commissioner for Works while he reigned as Executive Governor. Through Amaechi's instrumentality, Dakuku's election as a member of the House of Representatives for Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro federal constituency in 2011 was an easy ride.
In 2014, Amaechi again, against all odds and wise counsel single handedly picked Dakuku as the APC's choice for the 2015 governorship election against PDP's candidate, Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike, the incumbent State Chief Executive.
Before that surprise decision, his first Secretary to Government, and benefactor, Magnus Abe, then a serving senator was the preferred choice or so it seemed to many an APC member but was not to be because the LEADER had taken a stand.
Though later pacified with a return ticket to the Senate, Hon. Magnus Abe may not have refused to see Amaechi's jilt as a slight and an act of ingratitude for all his efforts to see that he emerged a winner and consequently declared Governor of Rivers State after a prolonged legal battle with then sitting Governor, Celestine Omehia in October 2007.
The seemingly bad blood generated by that singular incident is seen by many today as the genesis of the ongoing and intractable face-off between Senator Abe and his former friend and ally, Amaechi.
Not only Abe but also his teeming supporters and Ogoni kinsmen who claimed that Amaechi displayed a crest of a true friend on account of their support to him as Governor but had to ditch their son, Abe who was believed to be more qualified than Dakuku.
Both Abe and Dakuku are products of Rivers State University (then University of Science and Technology).
The 2015 election, come and gone, with Dakuku and APC floored and disgraced up to the Supreme Court by Governor Wike and his PDP, the APC remained stiffer under the grip of Chibuike Amaechi (now Transportation Minister) and President Buhari's right hand man, a position he has used unenviably to showcase his coat of many colours once more.
Information from the rumour mill has it that even Prince Tonye Princewill, a one time governorship candidate of the Action Congress which later transformed into Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before defecting to the Labour Party where he again, contested and lost in 2015, a reputation that has won him an award as the most flirtatious Rivers politician later defected to the APC because he was assured of APC guber ticket by same Amaechi.
Prince Pricnewill was not alone in this indoor game, as the son of yet another oil magnet and philanthropist par excellence, Dumo Lulu-Briggs also allegedly defected to the APC from the PDP on same fake promise of clinching the guber ticket for 2019 elections.
But of late, Amaechi's body language seemed to favour his confidant, Dakuku who had never mince words in every public forum to idolize Amaechi and express his preparedness to declare war on anybody who will dare his master, and benefactor.
Amaechi himself never displayed any attitude to the contrary especially with his stiff opposition to Senator Magnus Abe's bidding and declaration of interest to contest the office of Governor of Rivers State on the platform of the APC.
The cold war still rages on and on account of this cold war between these two former allies, Mr. Dakuku was more than sure he would pick the APC guber ticket unchallenged before the bomb blast.
In a swift reaction to matters arising and expressions of shock from the few that stayed back in the party after the hard-nuts who refused to be remote-controlled pitched tent with Senator Abe's faction of the APC, Amaechi had these to say through his media office: “It is preposterous, mischievious, wholly and intentionally disingenuous and deceitful for anyone to claim, alleged or even insinuate that the 'Honourable Minister' has appointed a governorship candidate for the APC in Rivers State. Dele Cole as has been reported, emerged as the consensus choice of the majority of the party caucus”.
But in a tacit response, Dakuku Peterside said as a loyal party man, he would abide by the decision of the LEADER. He however emphasized that, “we have toiled from 2013 to date (a period of five years) and have made sacrifices and lost lives in course of enthroning the kind of government we want in Rivers State, a government that we will guarantee peace, unity and prosperity”.
Whatever that means, all that is deducible from the entire political abrakatabra is that a 'government' that is big enough to give you what you want is big enough to take it all away.