Addressing a campaign rally in Bauchi on Saturday, Transportation Minister, Mr. Chibuike Amechi, told Nigerians complaining about hunger, that he “is also hungry”.
Amechi, in the usual APC blame game, accused the main opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of being responsible for the hunger in the land. According to him, PDP which was in power for 16 years “caused the hunger in the land by stealing money from the nation’s purse”.
While we will in no way hold brief for the PDP about how its actions or inactions had brought hunger in the land, our concern however is whether Chibuike Rotimi Amechi, Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is indeed actually hungry?
Before venturing to answer this question, we will like to take a little journey backwards, into the public life of Chibuike Amechi, to get some first hand knowledge about how hungry this man is.
Amechi, no doubt, is one of the few lucky Nigerians who benefited immensely from the Nigerian political arrangement. For close to three decades, the man has been in the corridors of power, directing the affairs of millions of his fellow countrymen.
Chibuike Rotimi Amechi came to public limelight in 1992 when he was appointed Personal Assistant to the former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, during the short lived Third Republic.
When democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999, Amechi, along with Odili, joined the Peoples Democratic Party, and they each sought elective positions on that platform. While Odili was elected Governor of Rivers State, Amechi was elected to the Rivers State House of Assembly, from where he was elected Speaker of the House of Assembly. He held that position for eight solid years.
When Odili was about to serve out his eight year tenure, Amechi indicated interest to replace him as Governor. His candidature, however, developed a “k-leg”, apologies to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
But Amechi was adamant, and went to court. Sensing some dangers ahead, he fled to Ghana, leaving behind his foot soldiers led by Nyeson Wike to do the battle.
Three months later, the Supreme Court delivered that landmark judgment that Chibuike Amechi was the rightful governorship candidate of the PDP and should be immediately sworn in as Governor to take over from Celestine Omehia who was already occupying the gubernatorial chair. Amechi flew back to Nigeria and was sworn in as Governor of Rivers State.
For eight long years, Chibuike Amechi presided over the affairs of the oil rich Rivers State. He was said to have greatly enriched himself in the process. He owned a private jet with which he was cruising across the length and breadth of the country.
Soon, the APC saw Amechi as an asset and made him Director General of Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization after he left PDP and joined the party. It was alleged that the APC had benefited immensely from Amechi because of his huge war chest.
Before then, Chibuike Amechi was elected chairman of the then all powerful Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). Former Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, would easily not forget her ugly experiences in the hands of the NGF led by Amechi, in her efforts to save money for the country for the rainy day through the newly established Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).
The SWF was the PDP led federal government’s strategy to keep back some funds realized from the sale of petroleum products above the approved benchmark. But Amechi and the NGF frustrated this plan, and insisted that everything must be put on the table and shared.
Now, all the money has been used up and Nigeria got broke. Amechi has turned round to blame PDP for the hunger in the land. What an irony. What a hypocrisy?
But which PDP did that damage? Is PDP merely a nomenclature, an abstract, nonphysical and non experiential thing? Is PDP not made up of living individuals, men and women, like Chibuike Amechi, who played key roles in its activities, as a prominent member?
The way they always talk about PDP doing this and doing that, you will think that the party is composed of mere ghosts, not knowing that it is the same people talking that were real members of the PDP and who had contributed significantly to whatever sins the party was said to have committed.
But before I forget, my fellow country men and women, is Chibuike Amechi, Minister of Transportation, Director General of Buhari Campaign Organization (BCO), really hungry as he had claimed?
I hear some people say that the man was merely cracking jokes, that he was being sarcastic, jesting, or was simply mocking millions of people who he had helped to ruin their lives.