The Abiku Governor, By Ose Oyamendan

Ose Oyamendan

Poor President Goodluck Jonathan! The man must loath sleep now. I’m guessing every time he dozes off he has a nightmare where Rotimi Amaechi pops up and shrieks, “still alive!”

The good Christian that he is, the president would surely not wish the Rivers State governor any ill. But he must wonder why the man won’t stay dead, politically. They sliced him, diced him and sprinkled him with some pepper before they threw him in the grinder. Yet, the man came up whole!

I’m not even the president of my house yet I worry about that Amaechi dude sometimes. He combines Yoruba and Ibo names but claims to be from Rivers State. Jonathan being the rookie president he is doesn’t realize that’s a ground for impeachment if he can buy the State legislators with a slice of the security vote. No wonder ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo always laments the state of the nation. GEJ learnt nothing from OBJ.

For the last few months, Amaechi was the ball in a political Ping-Pong game, Naija style. The presidency smashes him. The opposition serves him as a soft lob. His party elders practice forehands with him.

The man’s fault was that he was the head of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, something that sounds like a committee of egg heads until you realize one member can’t even count to 20. He had some spat with the president and boom, he was told “no more forum for you”. Somehow, Amaechi took it as a joke and last Friday, showed the president the joke was on him all along.

The man won an election he was supposed to lose. The president found out that trying to eradicate Boko Haram was one thing, trying to do away with Amaechi was a different ball game. It was so bad, Godswill Akpabio, Amaechi’s brother governor and one-time BFF, faltered in kindergarten arithmetic. Akpabio claims 16 is a higher number than 19.  In fairness to him, he may be reading 16 upside down which gives him 91 which means we may be expecting 56 more states!

We can all stop worrying why budgets don’t get balanced and why the standard of education is tumbling down. I wish Akpabio-math was known twenty years ago. I could have convinced my father and saved my bruised behind by telling him my 40% in math is actually greater than my baby sister’s 75%.

The funny thing is Jonah Jang, the aged governor of Plateau State who can’t control his own state and whose face is often knotted into a question mark was “selected” as the alternate chairman of the NGF, evoking images of a guy who couldn’t get the girl, goes into a doll shop and gets himself a female doll. You wonder whom to pity? The guy or the doll?

I get this feeling the governors, most of them babies when Jang was a lively bachelor charming the pants off the ladies of the middle belt, are having fun at the expense of the old man. I mean, how do you tell a man he’s chairman of an election he sat through and lost?

The whole drama is like chronic dysentery. Just when you think it’s impossible for anything to come out, another wave comes. What next? An opposition spokesman would compose a press release declaring Babatunde Fashola the new chairman of the NGF because, on account of income, Lagos technically is worth fifteen states! That and his brother opposition governors who can count to 10 will put him over the edge.

All this over an office that is as unconstitutional as the First Lady’s office. At least, in defense of First Ladies everywhere, it’s assumed they share the first man’s bed.  The NGF chairman is an anomaly. No one cares who shares his bed except you’re jobless which a lot of young Nigerians are.  What does the chairman of the NGF really do? He represents the governors who control delegates. Kaching! 2015!

I really feel bad for the president. He can’t win over the opposition. He’s struggling to convince Nigerians he actually does work for Nigeria.  Now, his own party is turning him into a piñata. And, that’s gotta get you thinking – where did the president’s advisers learn their trades?

Sometimes, it feels they picked up their political education at a noisy bus stop. Just when the president was hoping people would forget he was a former governor and had a hat in the ring, his spokesman Rueben Abati, jumped into the fray and denied his boss’ involvement thus reminding everyone of Jonathan’s involvement. And, just to seal it – Akpabio, Jang and some governors went to hobnob with the Vice President. Or, does Abati want us all to believe Sambo has gone “Atiku” on GEJ?

In the past, the president’s men couldn’t stop Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s election as speaker even though they could have flooded the town with alcoholic rumors based on his last name. Then, they asked the man to get into a tug-of-war with David Mark and his not so honorable or distinguished colleagues. Just to mess up the president’s good luck a little, they asked him to change UNILAG’s name – assuring him that every Yoruba man will throw their daughters at him.

Now, the president is lucky that Amaechi, despite everything, still loves him. Or, what do you make of his victory speech. Amaechi said,
”We remain committed to supporting our leader, the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to realize the development dream of all Nigerians by reducing tension, uncertainty and insecurity in our beloved country.

We want to pledge our steadfastness and resolve working alongside Mr. President to better the lives of our people as we render transparent and accountable stewardship.” Ouch! I can see Amaechi in the president’s dream guffawing, “rubbing it in!”


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