Dr. Dennis O’Grady tells us in “Bottom Line – Personal” that change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn’t all bad — not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life — to keep us moving… to keep us growing… to keep us interested…. Imagine life without change. It would be static… boring… dull. And Max Planck tells us in “The Philosophy of Physics” (1936) that an important scientific innovation rarely makes its way rapidly winning over and converting its opponents; it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.
With the news that Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was able to thwart a coup that was plotted against him by persons from certain quarters in the NGF, is an indication that Amaechi should look beyond the mere foiled coup and watch that there are people who do not want to make their threats open to remove him as the NGF’s chairman, but are silently on revenge mission for only reasons best known to them.
It could be recalled that in September last year, when the NGF said that it was about to find a lasting solution to the country’s security challenges and unanimously agreed on what to do, the suggestion gradually widened as the Northern governors opposed to the decentralisation of the Nigerian Police Force. We learnt then that in a communiqué reportedly signed by the Northern governors on this issue of state police exposed the height of betrayal of persons to the position of the Amaechi as the chair of the NGF. The NGF sang with discordant voices at that stage, with the authentic refusal of the Northern Governors for the creation of state police.
I contributed a piece on that issue and warned that Amaechi should read the handwriting on the wall in the NGF’s house and know that it would be very hard to reduce the pains and inflammation the state “Nigeria” is causing us, because some people hardly would agree on what Dr. Dennis O’Grady had told us in “Bottom Line – Personal” that change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn’t all bad — not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life — to keep us moving… to keep us growing… to keep us interested…. Imagine life without change. It would be static… boring… dull.
Nigeria is one, but different Nigerians. I told him that he is the chair of the NGF does not mean that he is loved by all in the NGF. I said that how else would we not agree on this if the Northern governors had the effrontery to thwart a decision the NGF agreed upon and perhaps was nailed by the NGF’s chair, which was always the norm in every meeting. I asked if the renegades would not be expunged from the meeting. But Amaechi in his charismatic self told the world after, that the NGF was intact – there were no qualms to quake about the discordant voices.
As we have also read in the news that Amaechi was seeking for a second term in the NGF’s fold, it is a good development owing to his fundamental rights. But the idea to scheme him out by some forces believed to be outside the NGF’s fold, hinging their point that NGF does not allow a chairman to run for a second term in office, is the ugliest side of the group’s politics, instead they would tell us that there were people who are not happy with the height Amaechi has attained in the politics of the country.
In leadership, you do not expect the leader to be championing the cause of others other than those he or she was elected to head or spearhead. In my estimation, I think Amaechi has done well in this area. Initially, the NGF was not all this known, except as Amaechi becomes its Chair. He has shown how a servant-leader can credibly perform. Amaechi became a servant first in the NGF, which compelled the anti-Amaechi to first see him as its leader and later want him booted out. Why?
Amaechi has shown in the NGF what was written in the Christian Bible, precisely in the book of Matthew 20:25-26: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. But those seeking for Amaechi’s removal remind me of what was contained in the book of Philippians 2:3-5: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same…
If Amaechi had become a stooge of the presidency in his position, Nigerians would have condemned him. Now, he is not against the presidency, but working with the dictates of the NGF, detractors are at his jugular, as if there had been any personal agenda of his other than that of the NGF in adding voice to the dictates of the Executive. I can’t remember anywhere that Amaechi is leading in the NGF by hitting people’s head; rather, he has been coalescing his counterparts around a shared vision.
It is time the anti-Amaechi forces in and outside the NGF should beware. You can’t weaken truth by killing the truth-bearer. It is grateful that some members in the NGF saw the reason Amaechi should continue and eschewed those forces that wanted to impose a chairman on the Forum. It is however noteworthy of Amaechi who had shown in the NGF what Richard Petty and John Cacioppo instruct in the book, “Attitudes & Persuasion” that the nature and structure of belief systems is important from the perspective of an informational theorist because beliefs are thought to provide the cognitive foundation of an attitude. In order to change an attitude, then, it is presumably necessary to modify the information on which that attitude rests. It is generally necessary, therefore, to change a person’s beliefs, eliminate old beliefs or introduce new beliefs.
Amaechi has brought about transformation and reformation in the Nigeria Governors Forum, and this could be why those who suffer from the Old Order and Beliefs do not want him. However, Dr. Dennis O’Grady had told us in “Bottom Line – Personal” that change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn’t all bad — not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life — to keep us moving … to keep us growing … to keep us interested…. Imagine life without change. It would be static… boring… dull.
Odimegwu Onwumere, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV)
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