The Unmitigated Nuisance In Blind Loyalty – The Case Of The Current Happenings In Rivers State As A Case Study

By Chief O.J. Akiri

In life’s daily endeavours and multiple survival pursuits, one is more likely to attract society’s thumbs’ up and approbative sympathy, when he or she is observably pre-disposed to flowing along the tidal direction of respect for authority and position.

Briefly put, this in essence, is what LOYALTY is all about.

We will for a while recall widely held opinions about the high premium the great Zik of Africa accorded to loyalty over and above other human relational endowments including sound education or the possession of electrifying oratorical skills that captivate the electorate at campaign grounds. And the Sage had a surfeit of political progenies and choice-allies like Mazi Mbonu Ojike, an ardent believer in our cultural re-armament, and one of the earliest promoters of “patronize Nigeria-first” ideology. Then there was also Mbazulike Amaechi, a former Minister of Aviation in the First Republic. He enjoyed the priceless Isaac/Esau-like preferential affinity with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, which earned him the priceless evocative encomium of THE BOY IS GOOD by the Sage himself.

That accolade vibrantly resonated throughout Mbazulike Amaechi’s sojourn on earth until his demise in November 2022.

But we also know that when loyalty unwittingly glides into wanton extremism, like we are constantly harangued here in Rivers State, we are simply headed for contention with BLIND LOYALTY, which in itself invariably turns out to become a dramatic nuisance with calamitous consequences.

For instance, His Excellency the Governor of Rivers, Sir Siminilayi Fubara, who today presides over the collective destiny of the Rivers People, and can alone identify where the shoes of governance are pinching in his administration, decided to proceed on a minor Cabinet reshuffle, to enhance the systemic performance of his government, but surprisingly, not so much though, resistance and opposition came from familiar quarters: Mr Isaac Kamalu, the Commissioner of finance and one of the controversial “resignee-returnees” preferred to throw in the towel. He also chose the occasion to vociferate inanities, as if the Cabinet reshuffle must be perceived as punitive in concept. But it is a world-wife governance practice: in fact, one recently took place in France, where the Prime Minister was outrightly dropped for a more vibrant and dynamic personality.

The same phenomenon may take place in the USA or even in totalitarian China or Putinian brand democracy.

Mr. Isaac Kamalu, had in a most ill-advised parting shot gone ahead to decredibilise the Government, only recently announced a commendably laudable quantum leap in the State Government’s Internally Generated Revenue result which had made it possible for the Governor to embark on some key projects without the hitherto “fashionable” recourse to bank loans. Mr Kamalu claimed that the scenario painted by the State Govt could not have been as rosy as claimed.

But I am constrained to differ on the chosen approach: since we are in the domain of clear arithmetical Accounting, Mr Kamalu should have done better by giving us a comparative analysis of what the figures were one year before the present government came on board, and the prevalent situation as announced today.

Another die-in-the-wool unconditional loyalist of the Ex-Governor, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, would have liked to be the one to go to the Court to “lecture” his soul mate, “Speaker” Amaewhule, on the futility of the self-serving laws he has not ceased to be churning out, which may soon collapse like a pack of cards. All they were doing most times, was to selectively re-write segments of the Constitution to suit their adversarial whims and caprices.

Haba!!! Let us pause for a while and wonder who would want to consciously invite a scavenging vulture for advice, on the desirability or otherwise of saving the hanging life of a dying patient.

Still on the deplorable short-sightedness and confusion generated by Blind Loyalty, we want to recall the scuttling of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third-term agenda. In his widely circulated autobiography, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu alluded to how the Late Senator Mantu, the Deputy Senate President of 2004, saved this country from the spiteful infamy of not featuring in the list of pseudo-democracies like Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, or Cameroun, where 91-year-old Paul Biya has given himself more than six tenure elongations. The President simply wakes up, armed with sacs of Naira or Dollar, as the case may be, and declares his intention for the legitimization of his tenure elongation, through constitutional amendment. Ex-President Obasanjo had confided the Elongation Agenda to his “loyal” friend and Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, not realizing that the latter guarded jealously his integrity and was conscious of the inviolable personal boundaries for his cherished reputation and public image.

By the way, the blind Loyalists never care about their integrity. Senator Mantu pretended to be playing along with the Ex-President, whereas he had formed a counter-coalition front that was resolutely unprepared to be associated with the charade.

That is why we indeed considered as loudly laughable, the derogatory insinuation by CHIDI Lloyd that our highly respected political father and quintessential Statesman, Sir Dr Peter Odili, should not have proclaimed Governor Siminilayi Fubara as the Leader of R/S PDP in consonance with age-long tradition. Are Governor Mba of Anambra State or Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State not the Leaders of the PDP in their respective States? Why should the case be different with Governor Siminilayi Fubara of Rivers State? I can bet you with all that is dear to me, that our principled political father might have INSISTENTLY advised the Ex-Governor to leave Governor Fubara alone, to enable him first settle down. Ex-Governor Wike might have remained adamant, preferring to gratuitously humiliate Governor Fubara.

That is where our sympathy readily comes in for a Blind Loyalist like CHIDI Lloyd, who believes he can carry his disrespect for Elders to any extent, including directing his political sycophancy at our political father and quintessential all-time Leader, Sir Dr Peter Odili.

Future generations of Rivers men and women will demand from Blind Loyalist Amaewhule adequate “reparations” for our present-day setback.

Because of this feud exacerbated by Amaewhule and his group, how many Rivers sons’ names have filtered out as Ambassadors designate, even from the casual rumour mill? The Minister who should be working hand in hand with his State’s Governor is a sworn adversary to the latter. Our appointments are so to speak, limited to “Abuja State”

We are rather in the era of hyperbolic tantrums from the Ex-Governor or his interposing proxies or beggarly blind loyalists which new industries are seen today falling over themselves to come to R/S when we are often in the news for the wrong reasons.

The questions to ask Amaewhule are certainly not lacking when the time comes:

Which acts could have been chronicled to qualify as GROSS MISCONDUCT, for a Governor who had hardly been on the saddle for six months?

Could he not have been bold enough to politely kneel and beckon restraint, realizing the extremely bad and incongruous prism under which the act will be viewed?

I will leave my readers with these eternal words of wisdom from a renowned Sociologist and Philosopher Menanteau Sefontein: “Loyalty and respect for authority should not be a virtue in isolation—it cannot be separated from integrity, honesty and other sound values.”
A word is enough for the wise.

Chief O. J. Akiri is a Political Analyst and elder based in Port Harcourt and can be through +2348037882779

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