Hon. Chibudom Nwuche and Politics of the Stomach

Hon. Chibudom Nwuche

Hon. Chibudom Nwuche

By Abagworo Chizi
A prominent analyst who is conversant with Rivers politics once told
me that politicians in our State are merely suffering from a withdrawal
syndrome. Once upon a time, they had a governor who was available
to settle himself and everyone heavily by dolling out tonnes of
patronage. Suddenly they now have a different person, one who
cares very little about patronage or who does it in his own way. That
is why many of them are bitter and that is in summary what the whole
fight is all about. The day Mr. Rotimi Amaechi decides to open the
treasury and share the money to these so called stakeholders, then
normalcy will return overnight. They will stop the name calling and
Amaechi will suddenly become a ‘good man’. Am I surprised? Not at
all! Rivers State is a mirror image of the character of an average
Nigerian politician. It is all about killing the antelope and sharing it
among select few!

But there are a few people who you will naturally want to make
excuses for due to their background and pedigree. One of those
persons probably will be someone like the former Deputy Speaker,
House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Chibudom Nwuche. But one is
shocked about a few comments associated with him lately. As a
trained lawyer from a noble background, one will expect that the
former Deputy Speaker will behave differently even when speaking
against Amaechi has become a lucrative job for Rivers politicians
based in Abuja.. Rather, he has chosen to play to the gallery.
Reading his interview on the Punch of the 13th June, one will quickly
decipher that the former Speaker is either hungry or looking for
attention. What interests does he want to protect? What stake is he
demanding for? Is it about the people of Rivers State or his personal
pocket? What does he want the Rivers State Governor to do for him
so that he will start defending him?

Why is the Deputy Speaker so desperate to tarnish the image of the
Governor that he will start to spread outright falsehood. Last year
during the 47th birthday of Governor Amaechi, the former Deputy
Speaker was his guest. Since then he has been a regular visitor in
Brick House. At least I have been meeting him. He also knows several
ways of reaching the Governor. So when did the Governor of Rivers
State become inaccessible to the former Deputy Speaker? Habba!

Mr. Nwuche also alleged that the Governor wants to retire most of the
notable politicians in Rivers State. That is another falsehood. When
Governor Amaechi took over, he launched an initiative known as
Rivers Money for Rivers People. Though that initiative, the Rivers
State Governor encouraged qualified contractors who are indigenes
of the state to compete for contacts in several projects areas that the
state government was involved in. Many notable Rivers sons and
daughters participated and got many contracts. Some of them were
completed successfully while some others are still ingoing. However
there are a few politicians who claimed competence in several areas
and came forward for contract awards.

Many of them could not deliver and abandoned their jobs midway and
the Governor was left with no choice than to cancel some of them.
What was the Deputy Speaker expecting the Governor to do? Does
he want Governor Amaechi to go the way of the past, where public
resources are used to settle politicians for doing nothing? If the
Deputy Speaker identifies any project where he has competence, he
is welcome to bid and if he wins, I am sure that it will be awarded to
him. What Rotimi Amaechi cannot do is to pay monies to those
politicians who only talk from Abuja without expressing willingness to
partake in the massive opportunities in the state. There are several
things that can be said about the Rivers State Governor. However
none of his critics can make any reference to any case of corruption
or deliberate misappropriation. This is a defining moment in the way
of playing politics in Rivers State which everyone ought to applaud.
Rotimi Amaechi has demonstrated existential courage where many of
his predecessors would have been complacent.

Now let us spend some time on Nwuche’s tenure as a number six man
in this country. What can he point to as a single achievement or
project he brought to Rivers’ people during the four years he held
sway in Abuja. Is it not a big shame that the same people who he is
now professing to love so much could not benefit any single thing
from him when he was in charge. What moral right does he have to
speak for our people? Does he think that we have forgotten that his
tenure in Abuja was a legacy of waste and outright betrayal? Why is
bent on reminding us those years of the cankerworm?

Mr. Nwuche’s comments on the Peoples’ Democratic Party and the
Nigerian Governors’ Forum elections are laughable and patronising.
The whole country knows what happened. The PDP itself is reaching
out so as to contain their shame after that NGF election was won and
lost. A reputable lawyer (is he) like the Deputy Speaker, should know
the simple difference between pre-election endorsement and an
actual election. Why must he condescend so low to a point of
endorsing an absurdity just to curry favour from the President? Is he
one of those misleading the President? Even the President has
realized that his real supporters are those who will tell him the truth
and guide him with the right strategy. What people like Chibudom
Nwuche and his business partner Nyesom Wike continue to do is to
open up fresh frontiers for battle on the President’s behalf.

On the wild allegation that Mr. Amaechi is vying to become the Vice
President, nothing can be more ludicrous. This is the point where the
Deputy Speaker clearly indicated that he is actually on a blackmail
mission. For the avoidance of doubt, there has not be any time
whether privately or publicly that the Rivers State Governor indicated
explicitly or implicitly to anyone that he is contesting for the post of the
Vice President. Indeed no one ever contests for post of the Vice
President. The tradition has been that whosoever emerges the
President nominates a running mate based on his preferences and
that of the political party he represents. In a bid to paint the
Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum as an over ambitious and
disrespectful person, Mr. Nwuche and his collaborators have even
gone ahead to print posters on Amaechi’s behalf and are already
circulating same across the country.

I am delighted that Rivers people and those who admire Amaechi
beyond Rivers State are aware of the destructive ploy of these
desperadoes and their negative pranks. In the past few days, leaders
of many ethnic nationalities in Rivers State have been paying
solidarity visits to the Rivers State Governor and commending his
commitment to good governance and sustainable development. That
clearly demonstrates that they are impervious to the negative
propaganda and shenanigans of Nwuche and his cohorts. My candid
recommendation to the former Deputy Speaker is this. Rather than
stay in Abuja to become a Newspaper tiger for the sake of politics of
the stomach. He should come home and tap into the opportunities led
by Amaechi to deliver good governance to Rivers people.

Abagworo Chizi wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State

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