#SoundOff: How Rotimi Amaechi’s Crass Populism Manifests In These Pictures

#SoundOff: How Rotimi Amaechi’s Crass Populism Manifests In These Pictures [LOOK]

By Opinions | The Trent on March 14, 2016
APC Rotimi Amaechi Rivers State APC Nigeria Corruption White Paper
Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rivers State and minister of transporation

by Okon Iyanam

The Rt. Honourable Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi is the present Minister of Transport of the Federal Republic. Some days ago, pictures emerged of him apparently assisting to lift some stranded commuters to work within Abuja metropolis. These pictures elicited excited reactions from an amused section of the republic. They also elicited strong questions from the not-so-amused. Regardless of which side of this divide we belong to, one thing is clear: Amaechi was not appointed to office to run a pro-bono transport racket.

No matter what milk of human kindness must have flowed through him, he was not expected to delay government business by stopping on the way to give anyone a ride. Even if it was raining cats and dogs, he should have gone about his official assignment and left the people to go about theirs in their usual way.

This is not the sort of intervention we expect of him as Minister. He should focus on improving the platforms for mass transportation so that our people don’t have to be lifted by any Minister on their way to anywhere. And he should do this quickly and without fanfare. There were at least 4 cars sighted in his convoy. The act of stopping the 4 cars just to lift a few lucky people was silly and un-Ministerial. It was a hollow ritual, made even more hollow by its unsustainability and by its theatrical absurdity.

Far as I can see, it was sheer hair-brained buffoonery and an excursion into crass populism of the most meaningless form. How many free rides did he give them in Rivers State in 8 years of his administration? What are the mass transit platforms that he bequeathed to his people, to commute without tedium, within the choked up and unforgiving complexity of Port Harcourt and elsewhere in that state during his time? Someone should tell this joker that we don’t need this. The fact that there were cameras on hand and a narrative to go with the imagery shows this up as a preconceived stupidity.

We have had enough of such. No more

That being said, it amounts to unbalanced mentality for a Minister who serves in an administration claiming frugality and prudence to be driving around in a Range Rover and to then contrive to offer free rides to ordinary citizens, who may just have been arranged for just such an unfortunate purpose.

Or is Amaechi trying to tell us that the most successful mass transit systems the world has ever know is powered by a Range Rover Sport?


Okon Iyanam is a top corporate executive in Nigeria. Connect with him on Facebook

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. 


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