Vanguard (Lagos)

29 January 2013

Nigeria: Re - People in Glass Houses

opinion

IT never ceases to amaze me to what length Nigerians would go in their unbridled quest for relevance.

It is sad that the newspapers are awash with empty and often meaningless write-ups and commentaries by all sorts of people fanning the embers of the flame in the so-called Governor Amaechi and Hon. Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe's altercation.

One wonders why people who hitherto screamed loudest about the non-performance of Governor Amaechi and the deplorable state of Port Harcourt, formally referred to as the 'garden city' are now in the forefront in the defense of that same Governor and are unashamedly condemning the efforts of Elder Godsday Orubebe, the Hon. Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

Going through the piece under reference by Donu Kogbara, on the Sweet and Sour column of Vanguard, Friday, January 25, 2013, I couldn't help the feeling of disappointment that grew within me with each line of the write-up. I say disappointment because I had always been enthralled by the succinct manner she had presented her critique of government functionaries and national attitude. The piece - People in glass houses - however, could have come from someone on the payroll of Governor Amaechi.

For Donu Kogbara to attempt to paint Governor Amaechi as a perfect achiever, indeed an untouchable is mind boggling. However, it is not surprising since Donu Kogbara only travels out of Abuja on her way to England on a regular basis.

My first and sincere advise to her is to travel to Port Harcourt and drive to the Ogoni region of Rivers State where she hails from and tell the whole world about the status of the East-West Road in that region instead of sitting in Abuja and reproducing very old photographs of portions of Section I of the East-West Road which have been over-flogged on the pages of newspapers.

I dare to say without fear of contradiction that she is either oblivious or has refused to acquaint herself with the current status of the east-west road.

The submissions on the current status of the East-west road with photographs on the electronics and print media by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are eloquent testimonies to the on-going work on the road particularly the contentious Section I (Warri - Kaiama).

The section of the East-West Road caught off by the flood and not motorable is a fiction of Donu's mind. Contrary to what Donu would want the world to believe, throughout the festive period, people travelled unhindered on that particular section of the road and I also wish to disabuse her mind and to assure Donu that contractors are working assiduously to ensure that the December 2014 is actualised.

The Hon. Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe has left no stone unturned to make sure that adequate funds are available in 2013 and 2014 to enable the completion of the road by December 2014.

Donu Kogbara should "stop taking 'panadol' for Governor Amaechi's headaches".

It is rather unfortunate that some Nigerians are known for disparaging key government offices and principal officials once their hopes of securing juicy contracts from such office are dashed. This is what Donu represents and it is unhealthy.

She should be informed that Gov. Amaechi has a more than adequate number of Special Assistants (SAs) and other political Aide and as such, no vacancy exists. Donu is better advised to look for a job that will occupy her instead of spending her life fruitlessly as a "political jobber".

For her note, two brothers can loudly disagree on approaches to same objectives and not set the whole place ablaze. Please be reminded that the Hon. Minister has no personal issues with the Governor of Rivers State.

Mr. WILLIAMS MBOHO, a social critic, wrote from Abuja

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