By Simeon Nwakaudu
Few days ago, the embattled Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was on African Independent Television (AIT) to defend his paymasters who have totally failed the country, humanity and God.
It is not my business what other lies the embattled Minister told whilst on that ill-fated episode. But I am concerned about the unfortunate criminal excuse that he gave for the blatant refusal of the Buhari Administration to initiate and execute Federal Projects in Rivers State.
The lies told by Amaechi against his own people is one of the many deficiencies of southern politicians. They easily bootlick their Northern counterparts to the detriment of their communities. This unfortunate deficiency continues to undermine development of the south and deny the south key placements in the Federal Government.
Whenever, the southern states are excluded from the development process, the north recruits prominent southerners to justify such exclusion. Whenever the north denies the south appointments, the north hires southern leaders to justify such marginalisation.
It is disturbing that Amaechi still fits into the above category of hired hands despite using Rivers resources to fund the national campaign of APC in 2015 and serving as Director General of their campaign in 2019. It is regrettable that his relevance is tied to his capacity to run down his state and geo-political zone.
Hear Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi: "Nobody is ready to discuss doing railway to Rivers State because of insecurity and kidnapping."
This was the same Amaechi that narrowly escaped being kidnapped in Kaduna according to the co-convener of Bring Back Our Girls. He was a direct victim of the total collapse of security in the North West.
As I write, nobody plies the Abuja-Kaduna Route, yet the Federal Government executes projects in that insecure state. Bandits have turned Kaduna into a killing field, but Amaechi usually sneaks into Kaduna to serve as its public relations officer
In Katsina, there is no existing security framework. Bandits now run alternative administrative platforms. They regularly negotiate with the Governor of Katsina State and the military authorities.
Despite the fact that the bandits run things in Katsina, Amaechi's Ministry sited a tertiary institution in Daura, the President's insecure hometown.
Across the South-West, bandits reign supreme, kidnapping and robbing with careless abandon. An alternative security agency, Amotekun has been established.
Yet, Amaechi's second office, is Lagos where he briefs the media on per second basis, on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line commenced by the Jonathan Administration.
The North-East is the Headquarters of insecurity in Africa. Aside propaganda and photo manoeuvres, there is no Government security control in several parts of this zone. The military works like Chelsea Football Club in the North East. They park the bus, while Boko Haram and ISWAP are permanently on the offensive, killing and abducting civilians. But the Buhari Administration sited about three military Universities and other projects in this zone. Amaechi justifies the siting of these projects because they are in the north.
Herdsmen have commenced their annual ritual of slaughtering people in North Central. They also set homes ablaze and destroy property worth billions.
While northerners at the Federal level scramble for projects to their states, Amaechi spends resources and time to explain why his constituents should not benefit from Federal Government's patronage.
But the truth is known. Rivers State is amongst the most secure states in Nigeria. Therefore, the insecurity excuse by Amaechi is nonsensical and unfortunate. Rivers State is more secure than any state in the entire North.
It has its own security infractions from time to time, but it is nothing compared to the marauding herdsmen, bandits, Boko Haram and ISWAP. Yes, there is room for improvement in terms of security, but nobody here will trade the situation with what is obtained in Amaechi's north, where he is a cheerleader.
In practical terms, hundreds of projects are ongoing under the leadership of Governor Wike in Rivers State. Contractors are on site across the state, delivering projects as funded by the Rivers State Government. For instance, the second phase of the Basic Education Upgrade of Schools in the 23 Local Government Areas of the state is ongoing. Sixty three (63) schools are being reconstructed by hundreds of contractors in rural communities. During the first phase of the same programme, over 200 basic education schools were upgraded in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the state. I make this reference to inform the world that the Minister was merely misleading the country, in order to buy favour from his paymasters.
The Unity Road that Amaechi abandoned is almost completed. Contractors are working there as I write. The dualisation of Sakpenwa-Bori Road is at its final stage. The contractors are executing the project. The equipment contractors are on ground in different sites, installing equipment at different Zonal Hospitals in the state. They are working in very secure environment. I can go on, but suffice it to say that the Minister of Transportation has no justification to de-market his state of origin.
If anything, the Minister should attract projects to his state and the entire South-South and South-East geo-political zones. He has forgotten in a hurry how he was humiliated during the South-South Zonal Town Hall in Uyo, when he attempted to de-market the Maritime University in Delta State, but was resisted by the Former Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu. We all knew that Kachikwu wouldn't enjoy re-appointment because he defended his people.
Having said all that, Amaechi's flimsy excuse for the refusal of the APC Federal Government to initiate and execute any Federal Projects in Rivers State exposes the double standards in the interpretation of the responsibility of the Federal Government to the federating units. In the south, the State Governors, even though they have no control of security agencies, are held responsible for security. In the north, the Governors are never blamed for insecurity. It is solely the responsibility of the Federal Government. This unfortunate misinterpretation has been sold to the media and members of the public.
That is why Amaechi can confidently purchase air time on national television and offer flimsy excuses on an issue that is mainly the responsibility of the administration that he serves. It is even for this reason that the media pampers those who have failed woefully in securing the country. They simply join the propaganda merchants to offer worthless criminal excuses.
Thank God all key stakeholders are seeking alternative solutions to the national collapse of security. While the Federal Government and her top officials are committed to needless propaganda, other tiers of leadership are looking for the way out.
Rivers people already know that Amaechi does not love them. Otherwise, if he attracts projects to the state, Rivers APC members would enjoy patronage. That way the economy of the state would expand to the benefit of all. If security was a prerequisite for Federal Government patronage, even the Governor of Katsina State would not accept a single project. That's the truth.
It is criminal to make excuses the only form of governance.