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Our Minister Has Gone Mad Again

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By Bruno Emenike – 

Not a few persons born before the 80s will remember Ola Rotimi’s play, Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. It is not just a play of hilarity, but of significant theme that permeates everyday life. In summary, it is a play about Lejoka-Brown and his polygamous home and the eccentricities of his ‘been-to’ wife, Lizzy, to keep ‘their’ husband to herself.

This piece is not much about the play but the striking similarities of Lizzy with the character of our today’s ‘Lizzy’, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, President Buhari’s Minister of Transport and latter day saint of politics. In situating the Amaechi persona, one needs to employ the research of inspirational speaker and life coach, Steve Maraboli, as he has dealt extensively with people of megalomaniac visions and overwhelming sense of self-worth. It is a given that Maraboli is a man that understands the drama of life especially as it has to do with the victim mentality.

Over the past few weeks, the former governor of Rivers State has been regaling the nation of how righteous he and his tribe of All Progressives Congress in the state are. As if he is the minister of information, and by extension propaganda of this regime, Amaechi has abdicated his responsibility as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to junket from one media house to the other to propagate his message of lies. It is not surprising because in the run-up to the 2015 elections, he spurned tales of plans to demonise him, kill him, poison him; do this and that to him by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Non-discerning easily bought into the many tales as told by the master story teller in Government House, Port Harcourt, then.

Explaining this psychological imbalance, Maraboli explains that people like Amaechi who complain and make lots of drama, whine and make endless excuses suffer from delusion and the victim mentality, which ultimately does not take them to their desired goal: to dominate.

He writes: “Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have NEVER gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you DESERVE better and go EARN it!”

In a space of four days, Amaech has been on AIT, Channels TV, Love FM Port Harcourt and other media outfits in an effort to not only paint Governor Nyesom Wike in bad light, but also to pander the near-blasphemous tale of how the Supreme Court stood justice on the head in the matter of the Rivers state governorship tussle by bending to the will of Justice Mary Odili.

Amaechi’s unkind cut as regards the Hon. Justice Odili is reminiscent of Brutus’ stab of Julius Caesar, ‘et tu Brutus?’ If anything, but for the Odilis whom God used to be his benefactor, Amaechi would have remained in the backwater of Port Harcourt. Therefore, for him to engage in beer parlour talk of how the Rivers governorship judgment was ‘procured’ at the burial of Justice Mary Odili’s mother, is not only cheap but very disrespectful to the dead.

In his interview with AIT, Amaechi alleged that his then Chief of Staff, Governor Wike, always impressed on him as governor for them to share the state’s allocation. One wonders why Amaechi never fired Wike and if that was what informed him to pillage the patrimony of the Rivers people as well captured in the Justice Omereji Report which detailed the grand theft under the minister’s watch.

It is not for nothing that Amaechi is a cry baby of sorts and somebody that is truly disturbed by his sense of overwhelming importance. Owing to the fact that he desires public sympathy in order to achieve his ultimate desire for personal advancement, it is easy for him to pick fights, obscure facts and play on the sentiments of the gullible.

Levi Obijiofor aptly captured the Amaechi persona in one of his seminal dissection of him when he posited that people need to ask “why is it that, of all the 36 governors, Amaechi’s voice is the most strident and the most melodramatic? Why is Amaechi the most consistent fault-finder? Why does he present himself as a whinger, indeed as the grumpiest of all the governors? The more energy he burns up in picking quarrels with his enemies in Aso Rock, the less time he will devote to governing his state…

“Amaechi’s controversial position as the leader of a faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum has driven him to a blind spot in which he perceives himself as a superstar. And that is where his powers are overstated. A star of any genre should not be at war with himself, his party leaders and his people. Amaechi believes he is a victim of the sinister politics of the Presidency and the PDP in Abuja. That may well be the case but it should not compel him to see apparitions where none exists.”

More than a year after Obojiofor’s prognosis, the minister has not shown any sign of letting go of his childish disposition to be the center of attraction. After all, a leopard does not change its spots!

As a person given to seeing apparitions because he is the archetypal Biblical figure; Absalom, Amaechi is determined to “steal the hearts” (2 Samuel 15) of Rivers people through subterfuge, half-truths and absolute falsehood. Just as Absalom mounted a campaign against his father, David and Israel, in the hope of a revolt, so has Amaechi gone about boasting of federal might ahead of Saturday’s rerun National and State Assembly elections. The end is predictable, to gain power through the murder of Rivers people.

Nigerians should begin to properly interrogate the motives of Amaechi and be prepared to hold him accountable if anything untoward happens in the rerun. The tragedy of Southern Ijaw in Bayelsa is still fresh. But the consolation in that election, which seems to have been lost on Amaechi and his cohorts, is that the people’s will cannot be stolen by a 100, 000 jackboots.

By now, Amaechi should spare the Rivers people, albeit all Nigerians, the indignation of squaring them up in to his personal fight and casting it in the garb of pseudo-nationalism.

It is about time that Amaechi stopped playing his Bolekaja kind of politics with the destiny of Rivers people because like late Chinua Achebe rightly observed in his Book; Arrow of God, “if a man cooks for a community, they will finish it. But if a community cooks for a man, he would not finish it.”

Emenike wrote in from Etche through [email protected]