I have read varied comments over the Gov Rotimi Amaechi/Dr Ibe Kachikwu face off since yesterday and they have ranged from the absurd to the out rightly ridiculous.

Some people from a particular camp (as has become their tradition) instead of addressing the fundamental issue of N13B for purchase of land for building a University which is key to Amaechi’s intervention went on to attack Amaechi and bring in sundry irrelevancies. It is not surprising. For this lot, so long as Amaechi and PMB are involved in a matter, they must take the opposite side/argument even when it is clear that the opposite side is wrong. But it is only mischief that makes a person refuse to address a matter at hand but rather seek to confuse it with another matter. It shows neither smartness nor sincerity. The matter at hand is purchase of land for N13B. Period!! Anyone with any other issue against Rotimi Amaechi can make a separate case for that.

Back to the issue, first I think that we all should agree that it was very poor judgment and of course corruption to have agreed to pay N13B for land without due diligence when there were much cheaper options. It is important to make this point so as to discourage that type of fraudulent mindset in the future.

I have great respect for Dr  Emmanuel I. Kachikwu but with reports we have read that he was in support of halting Anti-Corruption Investigations against some South South Governors as alleged as one of the conditions given by the South South Governors in a meeting with VP Osibanjo to end the sabotage of oil pipelines by the so called Niger Delta Avengers, i get more wary. He needs to deny this if it is not true and clarify his position on these issues. I hope he is not going soft and allowing the emotional blackmail get to him because the battle is just hotting up and will be a prolonged one.

It will be hurtful to the government and Dr Kachikwu himself if people perceive the Government as divided or not coordinated especially over the Niger Delta which can be seen as insincerity in some quarters. With every due respect and sense of responsibility, I did not expect Dr Kachikwu to have taken on a fellow Minster in the Public in such a manner knowing the dynamics at play. And coming from the Private Sector, I expected him to understand the need for Team work and In any case, in EXXONMOBIL would he have approved acquiring a plot of land at N13B when there were much cheaper options that would still serve the same purpose?

I know some people would want to reduce this to petty, partisan politics but the fact remains that, Rotimi Amaechi as a successful Two Term Governor and Chief Executive of Rivers State understands that region and its politics and dynamics better than Dr Kachikwu. He clearly understands that most times, pandering to their people is counterproductive because they take any real or perceived ‘softening’ of stance as a sign of weakness and they respond with more force. That's the way it is.

Having said all these, the WAY FORWARD on this should be a simple matter and no one should play to the gallery. It should to be a matter of looking at all the options with a view to determining the cheapest in totality of all the options. If it is cheaper to procure another piece of land and build the University even with whatever development that has already been put on ground, then we take that route but if it is not, we stick to the present location if that is cheaper.

Taking this thing and politicizing it knowingly or unknowingly is not in the interest of anyone, the government and the nation and to that extent i am not impressed with Dr Kachikwu. Rather he is playing unknowingly into the hands of mischief makers. He cannot act like he is more South South than Rotimi Amaechi because he is not. And he definitely cannot be behaving like a Niger Delta activist inside the Federal government. That would be irresponsible.

(c) Dr Uche Diala

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