Sunday, July 17, 2016

Rotimi Amaechi, Hadiza Bala and Buhari’s Government

Recently, at a small private event, I overheard a very important figure in Nigerian politics and in the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying: “Amaechi is one of the very few people that Buhari will give whatever they want”. Curiosity pushed me to ask the bigwig why he said that. “Amaechi bravely went through the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of Nigerian politics during the 2015 elections, and had the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the elections, Amaechi’s story would have been better not told”, he replied.

If President Muhammadu Buhari will give Rotimi Amaechi, his Minister of Transport, whatever he wants, reasons for this are definitely beyond just being brave and resolute during the 2015 elections, but some other qualities in governance; doggedness in the pursuit of what he believes in and his sterling performance as Governor of Rivers states from 2007-2015. After all, President Muhammadu Buhari is known as a man who is never carried-away by ‘flashes’ of politicking.

Curious to know more about some hidden attributes of Amaechi that endears him to Mr. President considering Buhari’s cautiousness in picking close political allies, I contacted few people in government. Some who know Amaechi and many that have followed and observed his way of doing things since his early political career as secretary of the now defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State; Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili 1992-1994; Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly 1999-2007 and to his becoming the governor of Rivers state through his determination in the pursuit of his case up to the Supreme Court.

Majority of them said Amaechi extremely abhors injustice, loves quality leadership and always prefers putting the right people in the right jobs. Well, these qualities including Amaechi’s braveness before, during and after the 2015 politicking must have been the ones that attract President Buhari to him.

The appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman as Managing Director (MD) of Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) has generated some grumbles from few quarters- many suggesting that, Hadiza was appointed because Amaechi and Governor El-Rufa’i are friends and President Buhari will always give the duo whatever they want. Most people forgot that Hadiza Bala Usman is a young goal-getter in a class of her own and, Buhari is man of thoroughness and operates in a style that Operations Research scientists call ‘System Thinking’- a serial approach to governance- where each development sector is connected and will influence each other within a well-planned government. Amaechi’s recommendation of Hadiza is purely based on Buhari’s cardinal belief which Amaechi also shares- the need to bring on board young adventurers, silicon-valley-like-thinkers; men and women who can move the government at the speed of the imagination of most Nigerians; individuals whose sense of judgement is centered on the challenges of un-locking the future for ordinary Nigerians.

All the persons Amaechi recommended to President Buhari are individuals who know their onions and what is expected of them. They know they are called to rebuild a system that will shift governance away from the traditional method of concentrating on only 'off-the-shelves' way of improving our society. They will not saddle themselves with mundane issues; but would rather be team players who bring new and feasible ideas that will trigger development in all spheres of the society. These people will help put in place, systems that will bring dynamism into governance.

Ameachi has proven to be one of those ministers that will make Buhari’s cabinet an engine-room to provide broad variety of services to Nigerians, ranging from health to industrial development, security, a sound legal system, and the provision of effective infrastructure; education system and human capital development.

Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta, Adamawa State, 08036070980.

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