* Says will no longer serve in Rivers Govt Exco
As Don calls for forgiveness and reconciliation for state to move forward
By Ignatius Chukwu
Chief Tony Okocha is full of activity and action. He has begun series of books to capture what he calls his own personal experience in Rivers politics.
Ikwerre-born University of Port Harcourt lecturer, Gift Worlu (PhD), has made a submission for forgiveness and reconciliation in Rivers political family to end the 2012 crisis which has pitched former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi against his successor, Nyesom Wike.
Worlu made the submission as reviewer of a book unveiled by one of the fastest rising political gladiators in Rivers State, Tony Okocha, who rather has emerged a new arrowhead in the spreading crisis and feud between both Ikwerre-born leaders.
The book titled: ‘Through the Slippery Slopes of Rivers State Politics: A Personal Memoir’, was unveiled Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Atlantic Hall of Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt at an impressive ceremony attended mostly by political followers and factional members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) loyal to Okocha.
The author who was Amaechi chief of staff in Government House for four years has since declared himself the new APC leader in Rivers State instead of Amaechi.
The book reviewer also said there must be review of internal democracy in the political parties, else there would be no progress. He also recommended the tools of diplomacy as a must in handling conflicts and in solving political disputes.
Worlu seemed to stir the hornet bees when he said Okocha was part of the madness that has become Rivers politics, but said the author must be given credit for exposing the things that make Rivers politics toxic.
He said those seduced by power would like the book. “It is said that the only purpose of politics is access to power to develop the people, but Nigerians only know about stomach infrastructure.
“No man can be trusted with absolute power and this led to the search for democracy by trying to get a system that does not make one man too powerful. That was how the one-day president system came about where the Greeks didn’t want one man to rule for long but made it qualified man to rule for one day, until they eventually settled for democracy whereby every qualified person joined to select one person to rule for a given term.’
The lecturer quoted Karl Max who says politics is coming together by the elite class (ruling class) to capture power and oppress the rest.
Worlu however disagreed that power corrupts, saying it is rather people that corrupt power. Revealing the 17-chapter book with 266 pages, Worlu said the author, who studied Philosophy in the University of Port Harcourt, used the book as an attempt to find whose politics helped or ruined Rivers State.
“It has exposed why Rivers politics is toxic. The Forward was written by Williams Wodi (PhD) who wants Rivers politicians to understand that power will not be with one person forever.”
The intellectual said politics needs ideology and that the book is a symbiotic analysis. He said it was John Luscio who conceptualized the social contract, but that Okocha’s book shows that this is not working in Nigeria.
“The book also admits that there is no clear-cut ideology in Nigerian politics, and this is even for all of Africa. African politicians do everything to grab power first and think later.
“So, there is travesty of leadership. Okocha says ambition is not bad until it becomes inordinate. Politics in Rivers State is characterized by deceit, and fake loyalty. As reviewer, it is important to state that even the author, Okocha, shares in the blame in the madness that is called politics in Rivers State.’
He called for more books by other politicians, according to him, to promote healthy debate that may heal the politics of Rivers State. “The book tells of the Rivers APC crisis. It also detailed failure of Rivers APC in 2019 (inability to field any candidate). Rivers people should give Okocha credit for unmasking the political contractors that have ruined the polity.”
In the book, he said, Okocha (who was Magnus Abe’s ally) said Abe is gentlemen. His deposition is that if Abe showing ambition to be governor is a crime, then the Leader (Amaechi?) is a criminal.
He said the book sees Wike as a great leader, saying what he brought to the state as Minister of State is huge. This is how Wike loyalists insinuate that Wike surpassed Amaechi if both leaders were to be compared as ministers.
In his welcome remarks, the step-in chairman on the occasion, George Ariolu (Obio/Akpor local council chairman), said the book will guide any new comer to Rivers State and any new entrant into Rivers politics. “Few Rivers politicians write books. This book is from determined person and a stable mind.”
I will not serve in Rivers State Exco anymore:
Speaking, the author, Okocha, who said he would reply Worlu at the right time, said the book is purely his own personal experience.
He seemed to shock the audience when he announced he was never going to serve in the Rivers State executive council again.
He said the Volume 2 of the book was already ready, soon to be published, and other books in the series would begin soon.
“There is no intention to blackmail anybody or to destroy anybody. This book is not for money-making. Bola Ahmed Tinubu broke protocol to visit Rivers State, that shows Wike’s capacity.”
He assured his own political family that they have toiled for over two years and that time has come for them to be remembered.