The non-violent approach of Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi to political struggles has been hailed at a colloquium in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
A lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Andrew Efemini, who spoke at the colloquium organised by a civil society group, Society for the Promotion of Better Nigeria, to mark the 10th anniversary of the October 2007 Supreme court judgment that gave victory to ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi, said Nigeria has not experienced development since amalgamation in 1914.
The colloquium was titled “Amaechi: the long road to victory, my story”. It held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Speaking on the sub-topic, “Power Generation”, the Professor of Philosophy of Development described the country’s rural communities as modern caves.
He said: “Development is about human beings, it is about man, and when it comes to the issue of development, Nigerian has not developed since the amalgamation in 1914. We are experiencing economic activity, all society experience economic activities, but all countries are not experiencing development.
“Nigeria is one of the few countries of the world that is under-developing. The standard of living of the people is systematically dropping by the day in this country.
“Hunger, illiteracy, number of poor students who cannot pay fees are increasing, but we can point to roads being building, unemployment is increasing. The number of students who cannot go to school (illiterates), in Nigeria currently is 65 million. This was confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Education. The rural communities of Nigeria are modern caves.”
He described Amaechi as a lover of education. He faulted the decision of Governor Nyesom Wike to cancel the overseas scholarship awards to indigenes of the state.
”However, the truth is that in spite of all that had been said about the positive virtues, activities and projects of Amaechi, project execution is not the yardstick of assessing government; if that is done, our country will remain underdeveloped in perpetuity.”
He advocated for a political revolution that would turn around the fortune of the country and her citizens. He lauded Amaechi’s non-violent approach in fighting for his rights, describing him as a person who believes in the rule of law.
Speaking on the topic, “The elements of Struggle and Power: Amaechi in the eyes of the Nigerian democracy, lesson for the youths”, the factional National President of Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), Igo Akeregha described Amaechi as one of the most controversial politicians in the contemporary Nigerian politics, adding that his struggle to entrench the rule of law deepened the country’s democratic space.
Akeregha said: “Indeed there is something to pick from Amaechi political philosophy that enhances the boundary of a progressive orientation to the emerging generation of Niger Delta youths.”
He pointed out that Amaechi’s brand of resistance politics should galvanise a new political consciousness and development in the future.
The facilitator of the conference, comrade Livingstone Wechie said the event was meant to chart a course for the emerging generation, the youths.
Wechie said the gathering was informed by the worry that the axiom, “youths are the leaders of tomorrow” appears not factual but sweet talk to calm the youths.
“Seated here today is that future we keep talking about that the youths are the future, and that impression has not been so, having been so for too long, the question has ran time and time again, for how long will we be the future?
“Today should serve as a sober reflection drawing strength as the passable study on the political character of Rotimi Amaechi, as a governance model and the leadership models that characterise his political career, what we can learn from it and add to ourselves and how we can go from here and take over the future that we have long been promised.
“The man Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is viewed from different perspectives by different individuals based on either the information available to them or their encounters with him and various other factors. But part of the challenge that has formed the meeting (the Colloquium), is what do we do as an emerging generation to hold sway in the future that is before us politically.”
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