It is no longer news that His Excellency Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi’s tenure as governor of Rivers State is coming to an end. Also reports have it that so many candidates willing and unwilling are lining up and one person will wear the cap come May 2015 and take the mantle of leadership and certificate of residence of the exotic Brick House which Amaechi will vacate.
I remember a sermon based on a text of the Gospel of St. Matthew: “Who so ever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And who so ever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” Can the next Rivers State Governor be our servant? Servants are close to those they serve. Servants understand the mood of their masters.
It is true that Rivers State is inherently a very lovely place even though it has remained a one city state because of the wisdom of those who have been leading us. The current political situation does not make one feel comfortable. The way things are going, they can easily go bad very quickly and we will be left with chaos and destruction. We do not have another place we can call Rivers State. This is why we shall not give up no matter where we live as indigenes for now in our call for a peaceful campaign and transition.
From what is happening, there appears to be this tendency to focus on the immediate and the most common elements of our world and our ability to ignore or oversimplify the apparently very important and so we tend to act like blind ants, mostly oblivious of the larger implications of our actions. Thus, majority of our politicians focus on getting by and being relevant.
No solution can be implemented when the driving force of our politics is self over people. There is an old saying that says ‘change whatever you cannot accept, or accept whatever you cannot change. At the very least, accept it until you can change it’. That is where we are now!
Niccolo Machiavelli once wrote that "the end justify the means". Typically, this quote can be misinterpreted as any action, no matter how unethical or immoral, can be justified for the purpose of any reasonable or needed outcome. However, Machiavelli suggested and supported this pragmatic philosophy only for the purpose of stabilizing and improving governments. Machiavelli specifically stated that this philosophy could not be ethically used by individuals for personal greed, profit, or self-improvement. Furthermore, Machiavelli believed that any possible "cruel actions" by governments should be "swift, effective, and short-lived" to decrease the harmful impact on their citizens and to minimize the probability of rebellion. However our politicians seem to be using this philosophy despite any consequences to the populace.
Because of human nature, it has been repeatedly proven that individuals cannot morally justify their actions based on greed. And since we now live in an increasingly interdependent world, we can only afford the Machiavellian philosophy of "the end justify the means" to help the entire state.
So who can the state trust to be idealistic and moral enough to help all of us, and at the same time, be practical enough to make extremely difficult decisions that can be beneficial to a great deal of people?
I have come to realize that if we are not careful with our style of politics there is bound to be destruction. Already some are calling for bloody revolution. There needs to be an efficient system; an efficient system that can filter the wheat from the chaff; an efficient system that can filter out corruptive practices and bring to book those who deliberately perpetuate such practices.
As we appreciate that somehow we are still learning the ropes of democracy I am reminded that what we need is good quality of leadership, strong courage and the ability and willingness to solve problems to enable us to continue until our children and our grandchildren have had freedom, safety, health and prosperity.
The gap between our visions for our state, our prosperity, our freedoms and all of those things the willingness to face facts and the willingness to work for solutions — solutions to leadership, solutions to peace, solutions to the environment, solutions to the economy, solutions to education and solutions to security is widening.
Even though we have a wonderful state we do have real challenges. We need to keep our state as one, and to keep it we must take bold and courageous steps. I do hope we learn from history and put our state first and this we must do.
Those who aspire to serve the people must think about how they can solve problems. They therefore should prepare to do this by using talents that are available and provided through the educational system.
I hope our politicians will work for solutions to leave footprints on the sands of time because there seems to be an omnipresent feeling of either pretence; let us all pretend to be happy and that we are doing the right thing or a feeling of; which is just isn't the same or even deliberate mischief. Are they sure just what mood is flowing around the state for now? The earlier they find out the better for the people are watching.
So who does the cap fit? Sir Winston Churchill, when asked about the traits one should possess to become a successful Prime Minister, said, “He has to be a good butcher”. However, I am not sure whether I would want the governor of my state to be a butcher. Our next governor, whoever that person may be, should be a person who can lead, inspire and be a beacon of hope to us all. Arrogance should also disappear from the character of the next governor.
In order to be a able to contest the next governor will need to show commitment and desire to want to lead and not showing unwillingness and being persuaded. Our next governor should have the resources at least to kick start his or her campaign. Our next governor should have the competence and experience to deal with the numerous problems we face in the state.
Our next governor should not be an accidental one. He or she should be willing to grow and develop with the state. Our next governor should understand the needs of Rivers people and not his or her own needs. Our next governor must avoid extravagance. This does not mean the drive and potency displayed when campaigning should die down once the seat is occupied. Finally our next governor must be willing to accept responsibility and be transparently accountable. Our next governor should be the governor of Rivers State no matter the ethnicity. However to ensure equity and balance considering the last three governors I strongly believe the next governor should be Riverine.