Yesterday, stakeholders from the South-South region led by the Governors from the six South-South States, met with the delegation from the Federal Government at Rivers State Government House to deliberate on key issues bothering the zone.
The Delegation from FG was led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, with all Ministers from the region as mandatory members.
In attendance as part of the Federal Government’s delegation were; Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta; Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum; Goddy Jedy Agba, Minister of State, Power; Festus Keyamo, Minister of State, for Niger Delta; Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammad.
Others include The Director-General of Department of State Services, DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, among other dignitaries.
When the visuals from the meeting circulated online, conspicuously absent at the event were the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who by virtue of the location of the meeting, was supposed to be the “host” minister.
My initial conclusion was that the Honourable Minister had probably decided not to come, and boycotted the movement entirely, but that wasn’t so. In fact, it was the worst.
From information gathered, the Honourable Minister had joined the delegation that came from Abuja, but upon getting to Government House, his convoy came and he zoomed off never to be seen again for the entirety of the meeting.
One thing also worthy of pointing out is the fact that all the Ministers from the other South-South States were present at the meeting regardless of the fact that their state Governors were of the PDP.
Rotimi Amaechi’s absence at a very strategic meeting such as this one, which was held at his home state, was a clear case of politics taken too far.
This singular action shows clearly from who’s the end that the continuous tensed political space in the state is emanating from.
The Honourable Minister should realize that the affairs of Rivers State are beyond Gov. Nyesom Wike, but for the betterment of the shared prosperity of the state.
One cannot help but wonder if the Honourable Minister can boycott a meeting attended by all Ministers from the South-South Region, a meeting called to discuss the well being of the zone, more so a meeting held in his home state, how do you expect the same Minister to attract federal interventions to the state?
As we speak, almost all major political actors of all factions of the APC maintain a cordial relationship with the Governor/Government. There have been pockets of occasions where they’ve met, and exchanged pleasantries. The only odd one out is the Honourable Minister of Transportation.
There’s time for politics and there’s time for governance. When it’s time for governance all political interests dissolve into national interest.
At the very least, the Minister’s conduct overtime has been unfair to the state. For a state where he served as the No. 3 man and then the No. 1 Man for 16 consecutive years, his conduct is unacceptable.
UGOCHUKWU TONY OPUTA
25th Nov, 2020