A responsible leadership is one which gives its citizens sense of belonging and sows seed of prosperity where it does not exist. A leadership that has the well being of the citizenry as its topmost priority. But Rivers State, for its 43 years of existence, aside the Diete-Spiff’s regime and that of the present dispensation, has not been lucky to have a responsible leadership.
Most of the leaders that ruled the state had been those who care less about the development of the state. Those who use the state fund as personal fund and frivolities. But thank goodness we now have at the helm of affairs a man who believes the state fund belongs to the people of the state and should be used for the state. Indeed, a reawakening regime when we have the physical value of our money. So with the 2011 elections at the threshold, what is of concern to Rivers people is, given the precedent of lack of continuity in government’s projects when a new government comes on board, will the the Amaechi Vision be sustained? Shouldn’t he be allowed to continue for a sustainable development in the state? Hear what they say:
O.C.J. Okocha (SAN)
Under the constitutions and the relevant laws of the federal Republic of Nigeria, he is entitled to serve two consecutive terms of office as Governor of Rivers State. But the first consideration on this issue regardless of what anybody may think is the governor’s personal inclination. It is a decision which he has to make, personally. Nobody can compel him to seek for a second term. But that is stating the general and irrefutable position. If you ask me what my choice is, I will like him to run. I will like him to stand for elections and will like him to win that election. I will support him to win that election because I feel he has done a good job in his first term. He has initiated a lot of development projects and a lot of which are still on going. And he is the man who has the vision to actualize this mission that he is on now and the best person to drive that mission is himself. So for everything that is good, for everything that is reasonable, I think I will personally encourage him to seek for a second term so that he can complete the mission which he has started or least take it to the next higher level.
In Nigeria what we have seen is that once a new governor or President comes on board, they tend to belittle the achievements of their predecessors. They want to start on what they imagined is a fresh clean slate. It is not like that and shouldn’t be like that, government is a continuum. I want to borrow a metaphor from football that you dont change a winning team. If a team has been playing well, you dont change it. You leave the players who have been scoring goals to continue scoring goals until the end of the match. Amaechi as our governor is leading a winning team because all of us in Rivers State and beyond have acknowledged that he is doing a good job in the transformation of the landscape in Rivers State. Since they are winning we dont need to change the team. We only need to ask them to rest at half time during election and come back after the election to continue the good work which they are doing Amaechi and his team are doing a good job, I believe and hope that he will emerge victorious in the election if he choose to run and continue the good works which he has started.
Hon. Tonye Princewill
I think it is premature for us to talk about second term now. I think Amaechi is not thinking of election now. I think he still has a lot more to do. Whenever he wants to approach the people of the state, he will do so, having started the process of delivering healthcare to them. Buildings and structures don’t deliver healthcare, they don’t deliver education, you need to recruit teachers, and you need to put in nurses and doctors. We need some equipment to deliver proper healthcare. Many people have been luring him into a false sense of security that he has been fantastic and so on and so forth, but I am not one of those people. But if anyone has done this much, I believe that he should be given an opportunity to do more. The next governorship election comes five months after others. So he has a lot more time to continue to work for the people. So I don’t think he should be rushed or cajoled into thinking about a second term right now.
I don’t think that he should be distracted from what he wants to achieve for the people. The agenda should not be whether he is running or not, it should be what he is doing now. It should be what is he doing now in education? What is he doing now in transport? What is he doing now in healthcare? What is he doing now in infrastructure development? I am not one of those people who got caught up in such issue about second term. I refuse to be drawn into it. I think he (Amaechi) should be focusing on using this first term to deliver as much as he possibly can to the people and maybe it is the people that will be asking him to go for a second term.
Orlando Dokubo, Spokesman, Total Support Organization
Our organization supports good governance, development and progress and from what we have seen done by the Amaechi-led government, we advocate for a second-term even though the decision to do so is solely his. There are a lot of projects that are going on now; we don’t want abandoned projects so we believe if he decides to come back he is not going to leave them abandoned, he will continue with them. It will not be somebody staying outside and giving direction. He will still be steering the state so he knows where he is coming from and where he is going. So we think he should come back if he chooses to.
Kanayo Emmanuel, Publisher, Port Harcourt Plain Truth Newspaper
In Nigeria, second tenure is constitutional. If you have run for a first term, you still have the right to contest for second term. But to run for a second term is not for me as an individual to conclude, it is the electorate that will ask him either to come back or not.
For me, he can come back but there are things he is doing that need to be called to order. Infrastructural wise, he is really trying; we are seeing the road he is dualising in the state, the health centres, the modern primary schools. In as much as we commend him in these areas there are other areas he has not been doing well. For instance empowerment. He has not been able to empower anybody to the best of my knowledge because I have been on ground; I have been following his administration. When it comes to human empowerment, it is not in his agenda. Recently, during the workers’ day, instead of motivating workers, he removed all the bonuses attached to their salaries.
I was disappointed that day because we expected him to announce a package for the workers but what he did was to remove the package that was already there.
So if the electorate through the elections want Governor Amaechi back again because it is not an individual thing, I would advise him to think towards human empowerment. For instance the press in the administration of Governor Amaechi is not fairing well. He is an educated man, he knows the importance of the press. Infact in one of his meetings, he acknowledged that it is the press that brought in democracy.
Then a man who worked and brought in democracy should be able to benefit from it.
Chief Mike Nwielagi, State Chairman, Congress Of Progressive Change
Governor Amaechi is as free as any other person in the State who is eligible; who can vote and be voted for. So nothing stops the governor. He has not been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction. So he is as free as air to contest for a second term.
Base on what he has done, any competent Rivers person can also do and do more. The CPC can even do ten times what the governor has done. But as any free Nigerians, whether he has done something or not; he is free to contest.
There is no inhibition on him. If his party finds him worthy and they allow him to be their flagbearer in the state, he should contest. Nothing should stop the governor if his party gives him the ticket.