By Olawale Olaleye
Since my brother and friend, the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi started trending with a supposedly leaked audio, where he was heard crucifying his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, friends and colleagues had sent me different versions, seeking to know if it was his voice. I’m confirming that now. It’s his voice.
Oh, they also wanted to know if he actually said those things about the president. Again, he did, clearly not in the context of what has been flying around. What you have been listening to is the doctored version of his encounter with the blackmailers, who had been on his case in over five months, asking for money and threatening to release the tape close to the election period.
So, let’s talk about some of the things he said.
In one instance, he said there was poverty in the land in Buhari’s three years of leadership and concluded that conversation with the fact that the solution to Nigeria’s problems was to kill everyone. Any intelligent person would have noticed the incoherence in the start-up line and the end note. Something was missing.
The missing line was where he said the reason people were complaining was because there was no access to freebies and so, they blamed Buhari for impoverishing them. Therefore, if we were averse to fighting corruption, the solution was in killing everyone. But that part had been taken off.
Interestingly, it is one analysis Amaechi does everytime and we fight over it because I personally don’t like the sound of it that we are broke only because we no longer have access to cheap money. On that, the blackmailers and their sponsors failed.
Two, there is the line he allegedly said the president did not care and could not read. Terrible lot! This was made to appear as if he was denigrating Buhari. Again, they lied and cheaply so.
The issue was about the criticisms of the president as an indication that he was no longer wanted by the people. Like he is wont to say: the president does not care. He does not even read them. But again, that too was cut out of context to suit their predetermined plot of putting him in a place of discomfort and clearly at loggerheads with the president.
If you listened to that bit very clearly, he even urged them at that point to report that aspect, noting that the president laughs over such uninformed criticisms. The manipulation here was very unsmart and tawdry.
The aspect of the citing of a university in Daura and another in his own village was quite unintelligent by those who pushed it out. Indeed, it was the point he asked that it should not be published. He felt a need as a minister to do that for his people and the president’s people too.
Please, tell me what is wrong in that and I shall give you a million reasons why it is in order? It is called development politics and practically spot-on.
Till today, one of the things being used against former President Olusegun Obasanjo is that he did not make any conscious effort to develop or cite any major project in his home state let alone South-west. The presidential library is being dismissed as personal and a product of corruption. So, what is wrong in Amaechi bringing development to Daura and his own village?
After all, today, Obasanjo and the late military ruler, Sani Abacha do not occupy the same place in the hearts of their people. In Kano, Abacha remains a hero, because he took development to his people. In Ogun, go and find out how they see Obasanjo. On this, Amaechi is on the right path and the matter is open to debate.
Whoever are the blackmailers behind the audio, pained that Amaechi refused to accede to their demands, which they would have further used against him, should try something else.
They can’t set Amaechi against the president. He doesn’t just love Buhari, he had envisaged his presidency two years before the election of 2015 and gave his all to see it materialise. He nurses no regrets and he’s determined to fight to see Buhari return even though we always disagree on this. I don commot for that bus tey tey.
Please, let the opposition try something else; something more creative, instructive, debatable and wowing. This one is dead on arrival.