Celebrating Rotimi Amaechi on Children’s Day_Ada Nkong

As with many other activities, Children’s day celebration this year has been overshadowed by the pandemic.

One event however that cannot go unnoticed is the birth of a man who has made his mark in Nigeria’s political landscape, Hon.Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

His over 50 years of existence have been very eventful as he himself would at every opportunity recount how he has moved from a childhood where he had next to nothing and worked his way to a place today where he can be of help to many.

To different people, he is a different person, depending on how, where and when they have interacted with him. I would not attempt to comment on his activities as political leader in Rivers state , not being very conversant with that side of him.

I would rather concern myself with the exemplary leadership and dogged determination he has exhibited as Minister of transportation where I have witnessed a seemingly impossible transformation of virgin forest into railroads.

I remember too clearly, the palpable fear I would feel when by 7 pm at night, we would be trying to find our way out of the bushes between Oyo and Lagos state where he would insist on supervising work on the tracks and inspecting down to the minutest detail till it is too dark to see more. A journey that would begin by 7 am in the morning and end most times after ten pm when we get back to Lagos.

The Chinese ,no doubt will have a story to tell of an African leader who cannot be browbeaten or cajolled into taking no for an answer. Who would insist that they do the right thing and threaten them till they double up on the job.

His people management skill. In negotiating for lands that needed to be trespassed and inter phasing with his colleagues in government to speed things up went a long way to ensure progress on the project.

Most impressive to me though is his staunch Catholic stance, he never loses an opportunity to declare his Catholicism and together with his wife Same Judith, their presence has been felt in no mean way in their parish and beyond.

To a man of many parts, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, I say happy 55 th birthday, May the blessings be!!

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