Political Engineering is not offered in any conventional institution as course of study. It is a strange Nigerian subject that crops up intermittently when the polity is at explosion point. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi will soon be the next topic.
There are subtle moves to prepare the Minister of Transportation as the next President of the country. Plans are still in the works with so much taken into consideration. The project has no direct supervisor but its operation is monitored by stakeholders who are bent on restoring peace.
The major drive is insecurity all over the land. In the recent past, it was confined to the North -East where the extremist Islamic group, Boko Haram opened camp and acquired territory. Beyond that axis, other parts of the North were relatively peaceful.
Presently neither the North nor the South is safe. We have moved from insurgency to killer herdsmen, bandits and seccessionists. It is a frightening development that continues to threaten the existence of the country. And not much has been achieved by government.
The root of the present decay lies somewhere in politics and politicians. As the 2023 presidential election approaches, it does appear man and the elements have conspired to drive peace from the landscape.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has forgotten so soon what happened to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before 2007 when President Olusegun Obasanjo toyed with the idea of handing over power to another candidate from the South.
Rivers State governor at the time, Dr. Peter Odili, was allowed to warm up for presidential campaigns. At the last minute, Obasanjo changed his mind and decided to pass the baton to a decent but unprepared Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua, governor of Katsina State.
Some die hards in the ruling APC want President Muhammadu Buhari to hand over to another Northerner in 2023. This is neither politically correct nor advisable at this time for Nigeria is seen as a country of two deep divides, North and South.
It is in the bid to keep the country afloat that some moderates within APC circles and concerned stakeholders in the Nigeria Dream have zeroed in on Amaechi as a possible successor to President Buhari. It is a smartly packaged project.
Project Amaechi is meant not to scare the North. It is a move that is expected to woo the South-East and appeal to the South -West. The South- South is not given any consideration because the candidate is from that Geo Political Zone. This also automatically inters the Bring Back Jonathan eulogy.
Amaechi, as governor of Rivers State was a major financier of the Buhari Presidential contract in 2015. And he delivered. He has so far remained a Buhari loyalist. He has given the North the Kano-Maradi and Kano-Dutse Standard Gauge rail project worth two billion dollars.
The South-East is being given the Irabor treatment. Amaechi may be from the South-South but the idea is that the South-East will not cry buckets. That is the story of General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor. He is from the South-South and speaks the Ika dialect of the Igbo language as a Delta man.
Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi speaks the Ikwerre dialect of the Igbo language and hails from Rivers. His wife, Judith Obiajulu (nee Nwankwo) hails from Enugwu Ukwu in Anambra State. Her mother was from Ndoni in Rivers, same hometown as Odili.
For the South -West, the name Rotimi should ring a bell. Beyond that, while rail services in the East are in slumber, Amaechi has animated the business in the Lagos- Ibadan axis. He is very popular among journalists around the Lagos/ West environment.
This is all power play. And events in the South appear to have jolted the North. It was never imagined that the South-East and South- West could find a common threat from the upper divide. Amotekun scares the North, more than Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho exchanging ideas. Field Marshal Rotimi Akeredolu spits fire like the lion of Judah.
Looking the way of Amaechi is believed to be an antidote to agitations in the South-East. It is also another ploy to check the ambitions of Peter Obi, should the PDP hand him a Presidential ticket. So far, he is seen as a strong candidate.
Former Vice President Atiku is not considered a threat as age seems to be against his dream. The belief is that supporting another Northerner by the North through PDP will offend Southern sensibilities. And after Buhari, there is need to look for younger choices.
Moderates in the North flaunt the stronger Middle Belt/ South ties as warning that power must shift from the Northern part of the country in 2023. And they have found in Amaechi someone who can fill in a lot of gaps and fit into many shoes.
All these explain the clement weather observed after the suspension of Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority by Amaechi. She is from Katsina like Buhari and has blood links with the Kano and Katsina ruling families.
You may be wondering why the minister of Transportation turns out in traditional Igbo red cap and Ishiagu. Amaechi would describe the Super Eagles as ‘agba ekperechi’, Igbo for in God we trust.The game is on and those who know , know.