“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” – Jeremiah 13:23
When the Bible says the leopard cannot change its spots, it probably was referring to the likes of former Governor of Rivers state, now Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi.
Unsurprisingly, former Commissioner of Police (CP), Matthew Mbu, once referred to him as the “Leopard in Port Harcourt.”
The former police chief said: “It is only a lion that can tame a leopard.
“I tamed the leopard in Port Harcourt; each time he remembers my face, he would remember how I tamed him.”
Drawing from this, maybe, a befitting title for this article should have been: “Will Amaechi Ever Change His Noxious Ways?”
In broad day light, the former Nigerian Governors’ Forum chairman, perhaps ravenous for headline attention, came up with something unusual – Okonjo-Iweala “begged” him not to say there was recession under President Jonathan.
On getting the news, I waited for several hours hoping to hear that the statement was quoted out of context.
I sincerely wished Hon Amaechi’s media team would retract the statement on the account that his social media accounts were hacked by his “detractors”.
Since this didn’t come, I have taken it to be true; hence, this piece.
Here, we have a Minister of Transportation who blatantly told Nigerians and the world that our country’s former Minister of Finance, hid economic recession from Nigerians, the reason for it manifesting only after the last administration left office.
Does this make sense? Can recession be hidden?
In an interview, he said: “Don’t forget that until these so-called Avengers began to bomb, we had got to 7,000 megawatts, and what he promised was ten at the end of the first term.”
As it turned out on further checks, Amaechi’s claims, like his previous ones, are false.
A simple Google search simply reveals that Nigeria has never generated as much as 7,000MW in its entire existence. A lie from the pit of hell!
Does Amaechi really know the meaning of economic recession?
For the minister’s information, a recession can be easily identified by two consecutive quarters of decline in a country’s real (inﬂation adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP).
A recession does not hide and Amaechi should have known that.
When the US was in recession in 2008/9, the whole world knew it and the new regime of President Obama acknowledged it.
Amaechi wants us to believe on one hand that the Nigerian economy was in recession under President Jonathan and on the other hand, that the former president could “cover” an obvious economic slump.
This power belongs to the gods, not man!
Even in the worst of times, with financial experts like Dr. Okonjo-Iweala in charge, the economy was growing at a steady rate of 4.8 per cent (as ascertained by World Bank and other reputable international organisations) as at May, 2015.
If this is what the leopard meant by recession, then he obviously needs to be schooled!
As I write, Amaechi stands accused of diverting £140million of state funds into Buhari’s presidential campaign; reports have it that he spent huge sums on media, consultants and private jets.
He has been dubbed severally as Buhari’s “ATM” because of his ability to produce vast sums of money at short notice.
Even in the midst of heartbreaking allegations, he somehow managed to keep his job despite misappropriating £338million by a commission investigating the sale of state assets.
What moral right then does Amaechi have to advise us on economic management? Has he managed his state’s resources optimally before blurting his guff?
In truth a leopard like Amaechi cannot change his spots!
Bade Adebolu is an accountant based in Ado-Ekiti. He can be reached on email@example.com