Posted by News Express | 11 September 2021 | 825 times
By EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE
In the informative, educating and inspiring work, the erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, insightfully dissects and sheds light on the genesis of his relationship with the former governor of Rivers State and incumbent Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Dr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. With a deep retrospect on his political records and alliance with former vice-president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Eze unravels his roles in enriching the political experience of the former vice-president. He also x-rays the underlying circumstance behind his journey to Rivers State and his common bond with the hospitable people of the oil-rich Niger Delta state.
His life in Rivers State appears to be a mystery to many, but the book which editors have described as magnum opus, illuminates Eze’s past and straightens most of the lies and misconceptions peddled against him by adversaries.
The work did substantial justice to all the feats recorded by Amaechi as two-term governor of Rivers State, incumbent Minister of Transportation, and what he has gone through in the hands of friends and associates as well as what he is today in the politics of Nigeria.
Prof Nwachukwu-Ama who did the first review of the book captured the intent of the work in the background information about the book thus, “Chief Eze, this background is a thriller. It has justified this book and it is very important because most persons think you are a busy-body or you wormed up to Amaechi to pick crumbs. In fact, to me, this background is the book. It says much without saying much.”
And Prof Innocent Agu who did the last review of the book described it in the following words: “Chief Eze has demonstrated through this book that he is a human encyclopedia. Reading through the pages, one will certainly agree that Eze is qualified to be addressed as a Senior Research Fellow.
“This particular book is an eye opener. He is an investigative journalist of the highest order. His presentation of the Honourable Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, in this book leaves no one in doubt whatsoever that Chief Eze is open-minded. The book is a balanced presentation of facts in a very simple language and narrative style.” (Agu is Professor of Stylistics, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State.)
To give readers a little insight of who Chief Eze C. Eze is, an excerpt of the Introduction will be of immense help.
“In this book thus, I will attempt to x-ray this enigma called Amaechi on the areas of his feats as the first Nigerian to assume office as a state governor in Nigeria while on self-exile and the only Nigerian to have been a two-time Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria; two-time governor of Rivers State and two-time chairman, Governors’ Forum. Two-time director-general of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation that unseated PDP from power in 2015 and successful re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari as the President of Nigeria in 2019. These feats are not common in any country and yet these seem not to be enough in presenting him as a man ahead of his time.
“I have tried in this book to present how this man succeeded in making Port Harcourt the Book Festival hub and UNESCO World Book Capital City for the year 2014, making it the 14th city in the world to be selected as World Book Capital and the first in Black Africa, beating 10 other great cities, such as Oxford in England and Moscow in Russia.
“I have tried to assess the feats of this unique transformer as the only Nigerian leader to have initiated the setting up of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Nigeria when he embarked upon the establishment of the Greater Port Harcourt City, covering eight local government areas of Rivers State. Having dealt with his feats in the areas of education revolution, the sewage challenge in Rivers State and how he plotted the unseating of a sitting and very powerful President in Africa, Dr Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP (with all the powers of incumbency, control of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation-NNPC, the Central Bank of Nigeria-CBN, the Independent National Electoral Commission-INEC, the highly rated corrupt political and religious leaders with all the security organs/apparatus in his pocket), I will leave it to people who still ask me if Amaechi truly is a man ahead of his time.
“Amaechi’s feats in curbing insecurity in Rivers State to the effect that for a whole year in 2010, there was no single armed robbery incident in Rivers State, marked out this man as a foresighted fellow. He initiated the monorail magic in Nigeria, did other magical acts in the agricultural and health sectors, and exhibited his prudent management of public finance.
“The accounts of how he managed to survive the onslaught of Dr Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan, Joseph Mbu (then Rivers State Commissioner of Police), Nyesom Wike and Federal Government agencies, put Amaechi as a man ahead of his time.
“This is a man placed in the mould of other great nationalists around the world by the multi-faceted roles he played in the politics of Nigeria. The case that actually made this ‘mysterious’ man exceptional and catapulted him into the national limelight and marked him out not only as an institution in the politics of Nigeria but one whose inputs can’t be swept off the carpet, was his major political challenge in 2007. Amaechi had won the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rivers State gubernatorial ticket but was denied the right to fly the flag under very curious and controversial circumstances, which later became the infamous ‘K-leg’ episode. But the Supreme Court of Nigeria in a landmark ruling affirmed him as the duly elected governor of Rivers State. That was about four months after Sir Celestine Omehia, incidentally Amaechi’s cousin, had been sworn in as governor of Rivers State.
“Writing Amaechi’s exploits in the politics of Nigeria would not be enough in one book but I will try to examine how this Ubima-born enigma undertook the greatest risk, or rather a suicidal mission, to remove a party that paraded itself as the largest political party/movement in Africa, destined to govern Nigeria for sixty years, from power.
“In summary, this book of 450 pages, covering 25 chapters with illustrative and action pictures is to cover the following critical issues that affect the life and politics of Dr Rotimi Amaechi: ‘The Factors And Basics of my Encounter and Relationship with Amaechi.’ It will explain who Amaechi is, his beginning and education, and his venture into Nigerian politics.
“Other areas that the book will cover include the Unity Government - The PDP, AC Example in Rivers; Amaechi and his incredible feats in Rivers State; The security situation that Amaechi inherited and how he rescued the state; His exemplary feats in education; His feats in agriculture; His feats in health; and general physical and infrastructural development of Rivers State. It will also look at how Amaechi managed the resources of Rivers State, his endless persecutions, struggle for the soul of Rivers State APC, the power play and ministerial nomination and confirmation, the unseating of a sitting president and leading the Presidential campaign on two occasions.
“The book would also focus on Buhari’s struggle for presidency and Amaechi as his presidential campaign director-general, Amaechi and the Railway Revolution in Nigeria, Buhari and emancipation and development of the old Eastern Nigeria, including some of the outstanding associates of Amaechi. Other thoughts about Amaechi, family ties, testimonies, and awards will be exposed in such a way that the myth behind the person and personality of Amaechi will be laid bare.
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