Daily Courier |Opinion

SIR: From Peter Odili who made a play for vice presidency to Rotimi Amaechi who led an insurrection, to Nyesom Wike who pursued a pipe dream, every two-term governor of Rivers State since 1999 has squandered Rivers State money sponsoring wasteful presidential bids.

Without prejudice to the expected conclusion of the presidential primaries of the APC, which Rotimi Amaechi believes he could still pull off, none of these costly bids has yielded any return on investment to everyday Riverians.

To be sure, I am not against the legitimate political aspiration of any Nigerian. This includes referenced Riverians. What I decry is the brazen, if not crude and stupendous expenditure of state resources that has characterised the referenced mad pursuit of power.

Those monies could have been brought into the service of everyday Riverians on whose behalf those men obtained the authority to manage state resources.

Blinded by ambition and cheered on by a retinue of charlatans, all of them, without fail, chose to act on their vainglorious impulses.

What people often fail to realise is that Rivers State’s consolidated revenue for any given fiscal year could fund the annual budgets of about 10 African countries put together. Rivers State, with its oil money, ought to be competing with Dubai, Abu Dhabi or even Qatar. But no, it has been afflicted with emotionally needy and often erratic political leadership.

I won’t conclude this essay without commenting on how many everyday Riverians whose resources are being mindlessly squandered choose to remain aloof to, or in some cases endorse, this near insanity of their elected leaders. There are many exceptions though.

It is hoped that Wike will be the last of them. We however know that men hardly learn from history. So the next two-term governor of Rivers State is almost duty-bound to continue the wasteful circus. Who knows? He might even be louder and more brazen than Amaechi and Wike put together.

I offer sincere condolences to the good people of Rivers State. They, not Odili, Amaechi or Wike, are the ultimate casualties of these costly presidential gambles.

Chima Christian, chimachris2@gmail.com> (first published in The Nation)