Amaechi blames corruption in politics on docile followership
written by Bolaji Ogundele -Port Harcourt
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 02:59
The Rivers state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has challenged the followership in Nigeria to demand for accountability from the ruling class in the country even as he lamented the lack of performance of the nation’s economy.
Amaechi spoke on Tuesday at the Port Harcourt Book Festival, held at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, where former World Bank Vice President (Africa), Dr Oby Ezekwesili, identified corruption as the root of Nigeria’s economic backwardness.
In his speech, Governor Amaechi observed that those behind the political crisis in Rivers state were people whom the people of the state ought to have challenged and asked for the source of their huge wealth.
He said further that his adversaries were politicians who had either retired from the state’s politics or were losing out already and were afraid that the wealth afforded by political office would soon end and would fight to make sure that they remained in politics and continue to have access to state’s funds.
“After writers like Profs. Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe responded to the ills of the society and wrote about reality, who among the writers has responded similarly? Is any writer talking about the N2.3 trillion oil subsidy? Our budget last year was N4 trillion. People are buying private aircraft, just to go to Abuja. What is our response to that? How have we been responding to the attitude of the current politicians?
“In the midst of poverty, public officials are building mansions for themselves with impunity, without anybody asking them questions, especially about their salaries. This is a country where somebody wins election, two months after his inauguration; he comes to church for thanksgiving with a car key and God is watching.
“Nigeria’s followership is also the problem. The political crisis in Rivers state is about some individuals who have retired from politics and those who are about to retire, they are afraid that the way we are going, if they do not grab power, hunger will set in for them.
“I said to them, they are graduates. Chibudom Nwuche (former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who hails from Ahoada East LGA of Rivers State) is a lawyer. Why is he not practising? Let him tell us what case he has won. The only thing they want to win is government. I have done my own, I have provided service and I am going.
“Nwuche is from a rich background. Let him go and build on his father’s wealth and leave government’s funds. Let somebody who is the governor use the money to govern. Rivers people need to rise and say to ourselves, no more godfather. Let the governor be allowed to govern in the state and take decisions. I make mistakes. I do not allow the mistakes to weigh me down and I will move on.
“We have people who have served as deputy speaker and they do not want to go home. Lawyers should go and practise. Let them come. I will tell them how much they have stolen and let them show me the ones I have stolen.
“Creative economy will be an economy that challenges the people. They stole your money. The followership should be able to rise. In Nigeria, it is a different case. When Nigerians overcome hunger, then they will be able to read.