Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree
THISDAY NEWS: Flag-Amachree: Poised to Change the Narratives in Rivers Politics
19 February, 2022
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As it is often said, in politics there are no permanent enemies, only permanent interests. For Honorable Ojukaye Flag-Amachree who has been studying with keen interest, the politics of his home state where one party has been holding forte since the current democratic dispensation, It was time for the ideal change, to rally people of like interest in the state and forge on to change the political narratives in the state.

Flag-Amachree is not a new name in Rivers politics; though a young man, the name Flag-Amachree has come to stay in Rivers State. A 6-footer in the mold of an American point guard in a famous basketball team, his tremendous frame alone is enough to instill fear in a potential foe. Much more, underneath that 6-pack frame is a heart larger than the intimidating height, devoted to one assignment; uplifting the standard of living of the people and sacking the current PDP government in Rivers State come 2023.

A man of many virtuous traits never seen on the landscape of Rivers politics, history has given us a rare opportunity to witness the strides of the new force in Rivers politics. Though naturally of a calm demeanor, His boldness and sagacious personality will leave you with no doubt as to whom he really is.

Youthful, stable, an extrovert and conscientious, Flag-Amachree is open and very honest in all his dealings. During the last election cycle, in 2019, we were told how after the cancellation of the presidential elections in Nigeria, he displayed an impeccable character by returning money to his leader after the elections eventually held. With such character, many Rivers people have seen Flag-Amachree to be a trustworthy companion who holds his integrity in high esteem.

According to him, it was not his money, but the party’s and must be returned to the leader of the party. Such is the level of Flag-Amachree’s honesty. Yet again we were told how during the last Assembly re-run elections in Port Harcourt constituency 2, leaders of a political party took to heels on hearing that Flag-Amachree’s and his supporters were on their way to the polling unit. He has the capacity to challenge any politician in Rivers State. His loyalists and fans call him ‘OJ’, but his name is Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, a blue-blood from the Amachree dynasty in the Ancient Kalabari kingdom of Rivers State.

A grassroots mobiliser and born leader, Flag-Amachree’s has been described by many as the new face of Rivers politics and those who know him well know that he is the real deal in Rivers politics. Flag-Amachree’s political journey is one inspiring story of doggedness, sincerity and resilience with achievements never before recorded in the political history of Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.

A one-time President of Buguma Youth Council (BYC), he contested election as chairman without a godfather or major sponsor, all he had was the support of the grassroots. He overwhelming won the election and proceeded to become a two-term elected Chairman of Asari-Toru LG and he is the only individual to have served as chairman of the Asari-Toru for two terms. He was also nominated Caretaker Committee Chairman for two consecutive terms due to his leadership style. He led a people-oriented leadership as Chairman of Asari Toru LGA, which was reflected in his achievements.

As chairman of Asari Toru LG, he regularly found time to sit out at the town square with different age groups and have discussions with them over a few bottles of water, soft drinks and some beer. He also had town hall meetings with various communities to hear their complaints, pains and expectations. This enabled him to have a firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing the people and gave the inspiration and direction to accomplish so much under his administration. The details of his achievements shall be discussed in a later publication.

The emergence of Flag-Amachree as chairman of APC in Rivers State on Monday, May 21, 2018 came with a lot of tales, intrigues and power-push by certain power brokers in the state. His inauguration in Abuja on Monday, June 4, 2018, did not come with less drama. Until the wee hours of the Congresses, the pendulum never swayed Flag-Amachree’s side. No doubt, his emergence as Rivers State APC chairman ignited a fresh flame of hope in the party faithfuls, particularly within the youth cadre.

Flag-Amachree has suffered personal injustices for the good of the APC in Rivers State. For instance, after the 2015 general elections, like the biblical Joseph, he was wrongly prosecuted and persecuted on trump-up political charges. While in prison, he refused to sell his conscience and betray his boss, the party and followers. He stood his ground and chose to suffer for a crime he did not commit. He spent a period of eight months in incarceration awaiting trial for a case that ended up with a lack of any evidence. Such is the strength of Flag-Amachree’s character. Today, he is the man tasked with deposing the sitting PDP in Rivers State, a man said to be tactical, politically astute, and lacking the space to hold an adversary prisoner, as well as a vast war chest. 2023 general elections are just by the corner and very many known groups and associations, including the Clergy, women, non-indigene and youths based in River State, are already awash in the main stream news media, as well as the social media, calling on him to contest for the position of the Governor of Rivers State.

To this end, despite being out of government for a while, awards still pour in for a man that has achieved so much for his people and ready to do more. Flag-Amachree, in 2019 was awarded the ‘Rivers Man of the Year’ by the Garden City Advancement Award. The awardee said, “I have no doubt that this is a demonstration of Rivers people’s confidence in me. The greatest service on earth we owe ourselves, society and God is service to humanity. This has always been my guiding principle.”

Dignitaries on the occasion, including the Rivers State House of Assembly member, Evans Bipi, lauded Flag-Amachree on the award, describing him as a “young leader who has walked his way into the hearts of many Rivers people by his leadership qualities.” Will Flag-Amachree answer the call to serve the people, this time as Governor? We shall see in the coming days.

• Anderson Elekwachi, a Public Affairs Analyst writes from Port Harcourt.

Flag-Amachree: Poised to Change the Narratives in Rivers Politics | THISDAYLIVE