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Why Rivers People Are Supporting Amaechi Against Jonathan

First Bank Nigeria


It is no longer news that that there is no love lost between the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan. The fight between the two gladiators got so messy last year to the extent that President Jonathan was alleged to have caused the division within the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), where Amaechi held sway as the overall Chairman. However, the division last year led to the creation of a parallel NGF, where Amaechi is leading a faction and Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State is leading another faction, and the latter seems to be the one recognized by President Jonathan. This was even adduced as the reason for the creation of the then New PDP led by Alhaji Kawu Baraje. This culminated in the defection of five PDP Governors, Governor Amaechi inclusive, into the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The crisis between the duo has also led to several insinuations with the camp of Governor Amaechi accusing President Jonathan of disrupting some political gatherings organized by the Governor in the oil producing state.
In addition, the presidency was accused of stalling developmental projects in Rivers State all in a bid to frustrate the government of the incumbent Governor.
Amaechi had allegedly invited the wrath of President Jonathan, when he had a brush with his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is from the state. The Governor had reportedly planned to demolish some buildings in Okrika Area, where the First Lady hails from, to the annoyance of the woman and this allegedly led to the events that followed afterwards.
These notwithstanding, our sources revealed last week that Governor Amaechi is still popular amongst his people. He is said to have performed creditably well such that the people of Rivers State are supporting him against the President.
We gathered that the administration of Gov Amaechi in Rivers State poses a big challenge both to the Federal Government and other States of the Federation in the education sector. The state has reportedly won several awards in this regard.
From records, the government is targeting building 700 model primary schools with 500 completed each with 20 classrooms costing N3.1Billion each and equipped with ICT facility, modern library, science laboratory, football field, basketball pitch, volleyball pitch and Nursery playground. These model primary schools are reportedly built to the standard of the United Nations and obtainable in developed parts of the world. It is also said to be building 24 model secondary schools across the 23 local government councils in the state; well-structured and fully equipped with modern day educational, recreation and boarding facilities with standard housing for teachers, these secondary schools have grossly been referred to by observers as Universities,” said a source.
 The government, we learnt, is currently running free primary education with free books and uniform, provisions of library and internet facilities for the primary schools.
Contributions to the Judiciary by Amaechi are said to be awesome and overwhelming, and we were told that he is being commended from many quarters over this achievement.
In the area of health, we were told that tremendous revolution is taking place in the state. The Government is said to be offering free health services to all her residents in all government owned hospitals or health centers.
“To achieve this, Government has constructed 160 Health Centres in all the LGAs and constructed 1000 bed specialist hospital with other special intervention in this area. These facilities are available free of charge to both indigenes and non indigenes residing in the state. The Health sector today is about one of the foremost employers of labour in Rivers State. The state has gone into the medical industry as she is about developing an area in part of the Greater Port Harcourt city to be called the Medical Industrial Region where the syringe factory, the malaria diagnostic and test tube factory shall be situated,” said a source.
These are apart from the 100 medical doctors that were said to have been employed to work at most of the health centres in the rural areas. 
On reducing poverty and unemployment in the state, the government is said to be concluding plans to employ 13 thousands teachers, signed a long lease contract with Siat Firm to revamp and manage the RISONPALM.
Additionally, the Rivers State Government is said to have commenced paper work to establish and develop a N20bn Agric Scheme. “The scheme would encompass a settlement and cluster units in different areas of agriculture and is geared towards providing jobs for the teeming youths of our State,” said a source. 
The state is said to be embarking on establishing a Banana Farm at Ogoni, where about 200 workers will be engaged.
 It has also reportedly established a Fish farm at Buguma where many youths are today engaged.
 On security, the state has reportedly purchased two equipped and modern helicopters for aerial surveillance to fight crime in the state.
 On power generation, the Rivers State Government has reportedly built three power stations at Omoku (150 Mega watts), Trans-Amadi (130 Mega watts) and Eleme (75 mega watts). 
 The Rivers State Government is said to have invested over N100b per year from 2008 till 2011 in provision of roads, bridges and social amenities. In this regard, the Government has reportedly engaged in the construction of 800km roads with 250 already completed.
“10 major bridges under construction with 3 already completed. 20 minor bridges under construction with four completed, 2flyover/interchange under construction. 6 Land reclamation/shore protection projects at Andoni, Opobo, Buguma, Abalama, Olombie/Owukiri Island, Oba Ama, Okirika with 1,1400,000km 2 completed. 2 major markets and a shopping mall under construction (phase 1 of mile 1 market housing 960 shops and two banking halls completed). dualisation of eight major roads in Port Harcourt – Rumola-Rumuokuta (completed), Oginigba-Rumuokbiakani Rd (completed) amongst several other,” a source narrated.
 The Governor is said to be a beneficiary of various traditional titles from most of the kingdoms in Rivers State as a sign of acceptance by his people, though he hates to be addressed as a chief and he is a patron to various professional groups in the state. His associates and friends in the state are said to hold him in high esteem.
 To demonstrate the international posture of Rivers State and how the Governor has taken Rivers State to the outside world; Governor Amaechi was one of three high profile speakers at Commonwealth Observance day held at the Westminister Abbey in London few years back. Governor Amaechi was invited to speak at the event because of what was described as his “incredible achievements at the national level, personal commitment to policies that encourage enterprise and create opportunity and not least his personal engagement”.

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