Amaechi’s Statement Treasonable – Doyin Okupe

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On Wednesday, 19th November, 2014 the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi made a few comments about the forthcoming general elections, which bother on incitement, treason and gross rascality.

Mr. Amaechi who became Governor of Rivers State in 2007 consequent upon a court judgment, said at a street rally organized by the All Progressive Congress that if the 2015 elections are “rigged”, his party will not seek redress in court but would rather carry out what he called “civil disobedience” as well as form a “parallel government”.

This statement is clearly a further evidence of Governor Amaechi’s penchant for lawlessness and anarchy in his unbridled pursuit for power. It is curious and unthinkable that a man who was himself a beneficiary of the court process would disdain the very platform through which he acquired the opportunity to make his reckless and provocative statement.

It is even more worrisome when one considers the fact that Governor Amaechi’s party, which is relatively new, came on board promising hope to Nigerians. With statements like this it is clear that Amaechi is more of liability to his party than asset and has the potential to bring his party to further opprobrium and disrepute. For someone who aspires to become the Vice President of this country, his disdain for law and order is not only unfortunate but also patently dangerous and sends dark signals about the survival of our democracy.

Discerning Nigerians know that comments like this not only do not augur well for any democracy but also portray Mr. Amaechi as a reckless, power hungry individual who lacks both the democratic temper and respect for constituted authority and institutions. For a party that has made so much noise about its intentions to offer Nigerians a new deal, we wonder how the APC can be comfortable with a loose cannon like Governor Amaechi.

It is clear to any discerning mind that Mr. Amaechi’s indecorous outbursts and his obvious disregard and contempt for the rule of law, has defined him as unfit to hold any serious public office in this country let alone the Vice Presidency of Nigeria to which he aspires.

Since Nigerians know for a fact that the Rivers State Governor has not been living in the moon but has been in this country since the commencement of our present democratic experiment, they are definitely at pains to understand why he has failed to acknowledge the successes that have attended our electoral processes since President Jonathan came on board in 2010.

It is a well-known fact that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has remained faithful to its commitment to electoral transparency in all elections conducted since the electoral reforms of 2010.

Unlike what obtained in the not too distant past, President Jonathan has ensured that the electoral commission remains truly independent of all influences and manipulations and this has won the Nigerian electoral process a lot of accolades from the local and international community. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which is the President’s political party, had lost elections in several states and electoral constituencies with the President usually being the first to congratulate winners of such contests.

This is the hallmark of President Goodluck Jonathan’s statesmanship and an undisputable commitment to democratic norms and values. It is therefore preposterous, evil and mischievous for Mr Amaechi to suggest that there were plans by the Federal government to rig any elections in today’s Nigeria.

It is even more evil and certainly anti-democratic for him to threaten “civil disobedience” and the forming a parallel government if his party loses the 2015 General elections. We unequivocally condemn this stance by Governor Amaechi, which bothers on attaining power through threat, intimidation and subversion of popular will.

If Mr. Amaechi is so much afraid of his party crashing to defeat in the general elections, what he needs to do is to advise the leadership of his party to either give up in good time or repackage itself in order to appeal to the Nigerian voters who must definitely have the final say in the democratic process.

We also want to sound a note of warning to Mr Amaechi and other desperate players on our political scene that Nigeria has moved away from the dark days of dictatorship and resort to brigandage and that any attempt for any individual or group of individuals to resort to extra legal means of acquiring power, would be dealt with by the laws of the land.

I will not end this address without saying a few words about the events that happened at the National Assembly today. The whole scenario as we witnessed it is rather unfortunate.

We wish that at all times; national interest should supersede all other interests including personal and political interests.
From Government perspective, the overriding concern today is the issue of insurgency which necessitated the request by Mr President that the National Assembly considers an extension of the State of Emergency to give the Security forces the needed legal framework and space for a successful prosecution of the war against Boko Haram terrorists.

It is our hope that the Honorable members of the House of Representatives will use the period of adjournment to resolve all matters so that they can resume to deliberate and act on issues of National importance.
Thank You

Dr Doyin Okupe
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs

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