Rivers Action Congress: What Went Wrong?

At an meeting of the enlarged executive committee of the Rivers State Action Congress held on the 20th of November, 2009, the party in its deliberations which was a fallout of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Party a forthnight ago precisely on the 5th of November, 2009 adopted the following decisions in line with the position of the National leadership of the Action Congress. 

That the RSAC is completely loyal to the national leadership of the Party under the able leadership of Chief Bisi Akande whose credentials and status has remained a great asset to our Party. The doggedness and focus with which he has steered the party inspite of all the dangers of having to confront the evil the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) represents is commendable and a pride to RSAC.  In line with the directives of our respected National Chairman, we have put our strategies in place to begin the process of reorientation of the people of our dear state to appreciate the progressive values we intend to bear on governance come 2011. In furtherance of that objective we have warned all party members to remain steadfast and focused as ever. The Action Congress remains Action Congress, with no intention to collapse our structure into any mega party but to welcome as many as possible who appreciate the ideals of our great Party.  

The RSAC congratulates our golden Governors of Lagos State and Edo State, Barr. Babatunde Fashola and Comrade Adams Oshiomole who without mincing words are clearly the best performing Governors in Nigeria. Having provided the dividends of democracy to the people of Lagos and Edo states, we call on all Nigerians to wake up and challenge the PDP from its penchant of manipulating the electoral process again and as such should quickly at this dawn of a new beginning identify with the ideals of our leaders such as our stoical and indomitable Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the former Governor of Lagos state, and Chief Bisi Akande and  Chief Lai Mohammed who are toiling day and night to seeing that we free our country from the chains of PDP rigging machine with a stinking trade mark, constantly crippling our growth as a nation through their shameless anti- democratic attitude coated with violence, thuggery and assassinations, all in a bid to hold on to power. 

The formation of the body known as the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), the brain child of Senator Bola Tinubu designed to engage well-meaning Nigerians from all walks of life to challenge the ruling PDP into implementing in full, the recommendations of the Muhammed Uwais report is a welcome development. The RSAC invites all Rivers indigenes, residents and indeed Nigerians at large to embrace the idea which ultimately will, and should, address the issue. As our respected laureate, Wole Soyinka said, we must give Yar ‘Adua a time frame for him to implement or AC will join the literary icon as well as encourage Nigerians by mobilising everyone for a protest march to Aso Rock Villa and remain there until the Yar ‘Adua-led administration realizes the importance of reforms in our electoral institutions.   

The RSAC reaffirms its commitment to our South-South leader, Chief Tom Ikimi, for his leadership abilities; the National Vice Chairman South-South, Prince Austin Eweka, who works tirelessly in keeping the party united and focused. Together, they both have tenaciously strengthened the South-South and affected various programmes to enlighten our people on democratic values that will bring about the much needed change we desire as a people and as a country.   

It is a well-known-fact that the peculiar political terrain of Rivers State led to a situation that gave rise to our party in the state to go into partnership with the PDP-ruling government to move the state forward. It is in this regard that we have, under the leadership of Prince Tonye Princewill, maintained our ideology as a party, while engaging the Ameachi-led administration constructively, lashing the government where it goes wrong, as well as proffering solutions and ideas that have assisted the PDP in Rivers to be focused and be people-oriented in its policies and programmes. We have through the Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiatives, a RSAC initiative, to assist the government in attracting investors at minimal cost to the government, made possible the construction of a mega hospital that is ongoing comparable to the best hospitals around the globe, the Silverbird gallery that has improved the recreational potential of the state and recently a waste management company to relieve the people of the state of the mundane and clumsy process that was hitherto very unhealthy, irritating and a potential source for epidemics, etc. 

The party in the state has also brought about political harmony in the state. We have put together political parties in the opposition to strengthen the view of the opposition in our state in our quest for better governance. Our own member, Hon. Osima Gina, who is a Commissioner of Urban Development in the Governor Ameachi’s cabinet, has been variously referred in many quarters as the best performing commissioner in not only Rivers State but in Nigeria. Barr. Ginah, without doubt, has brought a facelift in the state, through the Urban Development Ministry. Urban Renewal policies have been introduced and the Governor, well known for his tolerance to criticisms and knack for performance, has found in Ginah, a hardworking and performing member of his cabinet. This has further emphasized the progressive content of our great party. The party remains formidable, focused and determined to takeover the mantle of power in 2011, except for some hitches that arose recently which have been investigated and appropriate action taken to free the party from mischievous persons with any hidden agenda capable of derailing RSAC’s objectives as well as disunite the party. 

This august gathering of the party comes at a time the ruling party in our state under the leadership of Governor Ameachi just celebrated 2 years in office. It is hereby noteworthy to intimate the public of our observations, of the Ameachi-led administration. 

In two years, the Governor has shown a rare courage to appreciate criticism: A new development that is alien to the PDP and completely at variance with the retrogressive culture of a party (PDP) that has operated in such a manner since 1999. In ensuring that he does not derail, RSAC being in partnership with his administration, we have kept a close tab on him, encouraging him the best way we can in order to provide the much needed socio- economic and infrastructural development that has eluded the state in the 10 years of PDP rule.  

Our Governor Amaechi-led administration of Rivers State has been inundated with programmes that are instrumental to bettering the lives of every resident in our state. On the area of health, our governor is putting every-machinery in place to seeing that health problems in the state become a zero record, with the building of what many people called Cottage Hospitals across the 23 LGAs of our state. He has as well been in the forefront to eradicating mosquitoes in our state by going to bring in foreign experts whose expertise is on insects’ management which mosquitoes can’t be excluded, being a major factor in this part of world that cause malaria. But we advise he ensures that the chemical(s) to be used for this project would not be hazardous to the health of our people.  Notwithstanding, we wonder the total success of this exercise since our neighbouring states are not going to indulge in the same exercise, as a result, we can’t rule out that the possibility of its ineffectiveness, as we all know, mosquitoes migrate like people do. 

Our Amaechi’s government is also doing wonders in the school sector, which has earned him accolades from the length and breadth of our state, with the building of over 150 unity schools in all the LGAs. But we would want a state where schools are built and a maintenance culture institutionalized which should guarantee continuity and consistency. We want our children to have access to free education at all levels rather than the obvious disconnection between the children of the priviledged and less-previledged that can’t have the opportunity to obtain scholarship grants to study abroad.

Our state has the wherewithal to making sure that every interested son or daughter of ours who wants to study wouldn’t have to pay through their nose to have basic and quality education. We hereby recommend that the present administration should as a matter of urgency move away from their present stance that is inclined towards government-oriented policies to a more acceptable form of people-oriented programmes. This would make life more meaningful to the people of Rivers State

Our state has some ministries for Youth Empowerment, Commerce and Industry, Works etc. yet our youths are crying of “no employment”, with our governor recently calling on the oil companies to relocate their headquarters to the host communities. We cannot ascertain the basis of the aforementioned ministries if we are yet to see companies and our eager entrepreneurs been empowered by them. Our roads are not too motorable with our governor saying that work will commence on them when the rain is gone. But we ask, is it not the same government that is reclaiming land in Buguma in Asari Toru LGA that is talking about rain being a hiccup in its failure to deliver good and motorable roads in record time?  Which one are more tedious, reclaiming waterways or reconstructing rainroads? However, our Amaechi is doing his best in making sure that the leadership of the state doesn’t fail, but his associates in the different Ministries of the state are proving otherwise from the look of things. We would say that the Ministry of Transport has not really helped motorists coming into our state from other neighbouring states with its multiplicity of tickets, it imposes on them as taxes. This has inturn increased transport fare for the teaming population of Rivers traders that ply these routes almost on daily basis. The effect of this is that it has made our state a less tourist state even that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has never risen to the occasion to making sure that our state becomes a tourist state. Most car owners in other states who are less knowledgeable of our state are afraid of journeying into our state due to some inhuman and chaotic methods meted out to them each time they visit the state. 

You find many youths, some wearing MOT vest, some without that have taken advantage of the disorderliness to extort money from motorists and unsuspecting travellers in the name of ISSUEING TICKETS. If this menace is left unattended to, the associated hazards would be unimaginable. Who says this cannot be interpreted as a new form of militancy? What will happen if our state wins the UN award for tourist encouragement as had been done to some other states? No nation has ever promoted tourism and culture only on the pages of the newspapers without its people having a modus-viviendi that is associated with them. Without going farther on the achievements of our Governor Amaechi, we can only say those things we have seen with our eyes, but let the Rivers residents score his administration in the last two years; we think they will not score his administration more than 60%. 


Thank you.


Signed by:

Mr. Suage Badey,

Chairman, Rivers State Action Congress (RSAC),

Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Date: 20/11/2009