For most part of 2019, 2020 and 2021, the Minister Of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi was in the news for his strides and achievements at the Ministry Of Transportation. Of course, his high stake in Nigeria politics has equally become the talk of the town. So recently when this high-profile leader turned 57, many believed that he may be moving closer to another chapter in his life.
By most people’s standards, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is a star. At school, he was a cerebral students’ union leader known for his command of attention with his oratory prowess. School was followed by active community organizing in Rivers State, where he helped build a ladder of connection between the government and the people.
After many years of mobilizing the grass roots for change, then Amaechi gave politics his first shot as an aide to the Deputy Governor, a position from where he later offered himself for election as House of Assembly Member representing Ikwere Constituency. That was followed with his election as Speaker of the State Assembly for eight years.
As the Speaker of the Rivers State House Of Assembly and Chairman Conference of Speakers for 8 years, Governor and Chairman Nigerian Governors Forum for 8 years, two term presidential campaign DG who delivered successfully on both elections and now a Super Minister: these positions has made him a national figure who understands the dynamics of ruling a complex society like Nigeria.
But Amaechi’s unassuming posture is not letting the cat out of the bag yet. Indeed, his ‘body language’ shows that he’s more concerned these days about the progress of his work at the Ministry of Transportation.
Amaechi’s railway revolution has shown that with strong leadership, commitment and patriotism, Nigeria can come out from the doldrums and labyrinth of inadequate infrastructure and economic decadence. Revealingly, this budding statesman has equally been busy studying at Base University from where he will receive his LLB.
In the eve of the New Year (2022), he looked into the mirror. Yes, not for the wholesome good looks it carries, but a true deep reflection was going through his mind. In some ways, he could see the future from where he sat, in others, however, his to-do list at the Ministry of Transportation remains far from finished.
Amaechi is a champion of reform and strengthening of institutions as key to unlocking development potentials as evidenced by his achievement as Governor and now Minister of Transportation.
As the clamour and agitation for Power to return to the Southern Part of Nigeria in view of who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 gets stronger, the dynamics appears to be in favours Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi..
The truth is that what works for CRA in politics may never work positively for anyone in this country. The way he talks is not how politicians talk. He is too open, honest and straight-forward to be a Nigerian politician. He perfectly fits as South-South and South East presidential candidate should the Presidential ticket be zoned to the South. This is because Rivers State and other South-South States belonged to Old Eastern Nigeria apart from Edo State and some parts of Delta State.
The turn of the South-South, the economic nerve centre of the country, was cut short by the removal of Jonathan in fulfilment of a gentleman’s agreement with the north, and so it is only fair that power returns to the region for the completion of their term in the power sharing equation of the country.
Amaechi is the most sellable Southern Presidential candidate hopeful in the entire north. This is undisputable. A recent opinion Poll in the North by a Non-governmental Organisation saw Amaechi leading other Potential Southern Presidential Hopefuls.
Amaechi’s bold, courageous and fearless nature is exactly what is needed to bring about needed reforms in many areas of the Nigerian economy. Most of the dreaded cabals holding this country back can only be confronted by a man with the courage of Amaechi because he is strong, younger, healthy and vibrant.
Surprisingly to those who believe that no Former Governor in Nigeria is corruption-Free,
Amaechi is not an alumnus of EFCC. He has no baggage of corruption in him.
So with the realignment of political forces in the country and possible emergence of leaders at different levels, this year might be another year for Amaechi to climb the ladder of becoming the next President of Nigeria.
Marshall Israel writes from Portharcourt, Rivers State