The Gospel According to Right Honorable Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi
THE 8th Nigerian Senate, seating in Abuja for the screening exercise of the President’s nominees for the Ministerial slots in his cabinet, in October 2015, witnessed one of the most appalling confessions of the Century, for an average Nigerian politician, especially adexteroustop ranking Nigerian politician to overtlydeclarethat ‘I never Collected Bribe in my Life’. What a true confession in the Nigerian political environment since 1999 till November 2015; the results of ‘never collected bribe’, is an indicator of what an average Nigerian politician would say in the present day (2015) status of Nigeria political exposition.
The perturbed revelation came, according to the Book of Right Honorable Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, when Senator Gbenga Ashafa, from Lagos State, dipped his dirty fingers into Amaechi’s throat to vomit that worm in his system on the allegations against his tenure as Rivers State Governor, which informed the set-up of a panel of inquiry; in addition to the question from Senator Shehu Sani from Kaduna State, for Amaechi to define corruption.
In his response, typical of an average Nigerian indiscreet,narcissistic politician, ‘I never collected bribe in my life’; more so, he was never indicted in any page of the Whitepaper from the Panel of Inquiry.
What a reflection of a true Nigerian politician hiding under the opaque Judiciary system that needs some exhaustive sanitation.
A dangerous animal was trampled in a subterfuge during the chase, would naturally struggle to fight back,and the ‘hunter’ would have to shoot to disarm the dangerous creature. Or Amaechi’s case is like someone caught in an armed robbery who claimed to be waiting at the scene inside the stolen ‘bullet-proof vehicle’ so that the bullet stray would not affect him, and still denied ever being involved in the robbery; with all the indications against him from the armed robbery suspects.
What adespicable statement coming from the hypothetically supposed veteran and ripe Nigerian Politician.Where is the integrity left with such an individual?A hyperbole of an active player in the current Nigerian political dispensation to open his kongba eye, in front of a camera, to make such a disdainful, devious, naïve statement, as a way of adding more feather to his golden political hat. There are other ways of making such statements without being categorical about the obvious of the rot in the Nigerian political arena. Such statement has further tainted his personality with an added color of his stewardship in Rivers State.
We might have to reiterate what I referenced in my previous article, President Mohammadu Buhari’s Recycled ‘Noise Makers’ are on the ‘Horse Back’: “Buhari might want to ask him [Amaechi] again, the question he posed to him [Amaechi] and Tinubu during the electioneering campaigns, when Buhari was offered another private Jet,“Where do you people get money to buy these jets?”; and Amaechi whispered to Tinubu, who was with him then, that“this is the type of questions that will be asked, when he becomes the President”.
Amaechi is of the opinion that he has never committed any offence which concerned the practice of being offered, given, received, or solicited since his over 16 years at different powerful political positions as Speaker of the Rivers State Legislature, and eight years of the head of the executive of the State. He was never, personally, or through his aides, offered, gave, received, or solicited for something of value, for the purpose of influencing the action of the official discharge of his public duties. It could be in form of giving money, goods, or other forms of recompense in exchange for an alteration of his behavior, principles, to his benefit, or the interest of the giver, that he, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, would otherwise not have altered.
Some Nigerians political leaders’ attempt to get away from their moral bankruptcy, typical of an average Nigerian public servant, which eventually drop them in another okro soup; should be mindful of their intolerable choice of words. What about that golden supernatural ‘shadow’ that came across his path the day he was so thirsty for an ‘ice-cream’ which he could not turn down? What would he call that? Or the highly costly program for the State and the bait made him to do otherwise, regardless the cost.
Nigerians are too intellectually sophisticated for Amaechi to face the camera, world-wide, to state that he never collected bribe in his life.I was amazed that he made such a reckless statement, even in the midst of allegations against him, not even in this present day filthy Nigerian political arena ofhis over sixteen years in the game.
No one influenced the panel of inquiry on the white paper, it recorded and published the whole truth of the investigation? No one spoke or visited the panel on behalf of Amaechi? What about the conscience of the Panel of Inquiry? An inquiry mind wants to know.
Such statement,’I never collected bribe in my life’,is what some credible leaders rarely use, in this part of the world; as Amaechi naturally rolled his ostentatious eye balls on that beautiful Calabar ‘eagle’ as Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor then;an eight-year Speaker; and his return as a rescued exiled Rivers State Governor, from Ghana, for another eight years. Amaechi must be one of the Saints Buhari needs to rid the society of bribery and corruption as practiced in his exalted 16 years absolute power in Rivers State. The statement would want reasonable citizens of the world to believe that Amaechi never deceitfully discharged his official duties.
Once again how could Amaechi claimed to belike a fox claiming innocence in the midst of chicken;considering his political turbulent in Rivers State to be the Governor, Chair of the Governors Forum; he could not have been so naïve to make such a spurious public statement.
We are talking about voluntary gifts of money or other items of value which are otherwise available to everyone on an equivalent basis, and not for dishonest purposes, not related to his official responsibilities and have no effect on his official responsibilities; or offering a ‘discount’ or a ‘refund’ to all contracts and connections. Could such be separated in Nigeria? However, if such reimbursement was done to influence him to look favorably on an official issue, which he sworn to uphold anyway, Right Honorable Amaechi would still interpret that not to be bribery, and unlawful.
What about many types of payments or favors like tips, gifts, gesture, perks, favors, discount, waived fees or tickets, free food, free advertisement, free trips, free tickets, sweetheart deal, kickback or payback, funding, inflated sales of an object or property, lucrative contract, donations, campaign contributions, fundraisers, sponsorship or backing, higher paying job, stock options, secret commissions, or even promotions. How do we categorize those?
Amaechi should understand, without being oblivious, ‘bribery’ is the act of giving money, goods or other forms of recompense to the recipient in exchange for an alteration of his behavior, to the benefit, or interest of the giver, that he would otherwise not alter. The individual who gave bribe might hold a powerful role, and control the transaction; which has been demonstrated in Nigeria among Amaechi’spolitical colleagues, especially on the Halliburton Bribery case,which involved the powerful Nigerians, one of what nailed Jonathan political coffin, while Buhari administration is fidgeting about.
In reference, one must be careful of differing social and cultural norms when examining bribery. Expectations of when a monetary transaction is appropriate can differ from country to country. From a legal point of view, in Article 2 of the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 173) of the Council of Europe), active bribery can be defined for instance as ‘the promising, offering or giving by any person, directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage [to any public official], for himself or herself or for anyone else, for him or her to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions’. Article 3 of the same, Passive Bribery can be defined as ‘the request or receipt [by any public official], directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage, for himself or herself or for anyone else, or the acceptance of an offer or a promise of such an advantage, to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions’.
In effect, Amaechi should stop maltreating intelligent Nigerians misleading Citizens of the world that he never received a bribe in his life.
That ‘Right’ Honorable connotes the high integrity of the individual holding the titlein the British language. Amaechi should be honorable enough to find a way of making that categorical statement which is insulted to decent Nigerians, or citizens of the world.
Political campaign contributions in the form of cash, for example, in the United States, are considered criminal acts of bribery, unless they adhere to election law in the States, by which it could be legal. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, it is the norm. His alleged campaign contributions, in cash and gift from the public treasury, in the 2015 Presidential elections in Nigeria, is it not the ‘bribe’ that brought in the current administration successes at the polls.
It is not illegal in the United States for Politicians to receive campaign contributions and other payoffs from powerful corporations, organizations or individuals in return for making choices in the interests of those parties, or in anticipation of favorable policy; which forms a major part of campaign finance, though it is sometimes referred to as the money loop. That notwithstanding convictions for this form of bribery are easier to obtain with hard evidence of the amount of money linked to a specific action by the bribed, obtaining using undercover agents, to obtain evidence of a quid pro quo relation.
Where is such law to show and proof whatever transfer within the last 2015 Presidential election campaigns in Nigeria?
In some societies,tipping is considered bribery. In some Spanish-speaking countries, bribes are referred to as ‘mordida’ (literally, ‘bite’); in Arab countries, bribes may be called baksheesh (a tip, gift, or gratuity) or ‘shay’ (literally, ‘tea’). French-speaking countries often use the expressions ‘dessous-de-table’ (‘under-the-table’ commissions), ‘pot-de-vin’ (literally, ‘wine-pot’), or ‘commission occulte’ (‘secret commission’ or ‘kickback’). In German, the common term is Schmiergeld (‘smoothing money’).
Evangelist Rotimi could be a Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, fulfilling what furious Senator Jonah David Jang, former Plateau Governor, angrily questioned Amaechi if he had ever been a Senator or Minister during the Governor Forum’s conflict, as Rotimi warned the old man. Was that not bribery, using ‘force’ to calm down those who opposed him becoming the Chair of the Nigerian Governors Forum. Unfortunately at the screening Senator Jonah David Jang was pictured sleeping and dozing, tired on duty.
According to Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, when you offended your wife and when the elderly approach does not work, use intimidation to calm her nerves. That does not work with my intelligent well principled wife o!
That was what Amaechi used to calm down his opposition during the Governors Forum fracas. That’s no bribe!
We hesitate to say that Amaechi’s statement was made under the inebriation of something, or people who hailed him at the Senate screening venue.If I may repeat myself, the Right Honorable, once a Personal Assistant and Special Assistant to Peter Odili when Odili was Deputy Governor to Ada George; eight-year tenure as Rivers State Speaker House of Assembly, an eight-year powerful Governor of Rivers State, with the Rivers State political rancor, through Obasanjo, Odili, Omehia, Wike, Patience, Jonathan, and Saraki with the nPDP to become the pillars of APC, Amaechi has the moral reticence of his principles, which he would not compromise, to declare, ‘I never collectedbribe in my life’, within the tarnished Nigerian political environment of the new democracy, is very interesting.
Rotimi’s credibility is undeniablydoubtful at this time. Once a public figure has been alleged of some delinquencies in the performance of his or her public responsibilities, struggling against the storm should not be the answer, in attempts to clean up his or her image.How many of them are honorable enough to do the right thing as practiced in advanced countries to ethically resign.
‘I never collected bribe in my life’according to the Gospel of Right Honorable Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi!