The air of excitement in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s foremost oil city is increasingly becoming viscous as the clock ticks towards the kick off of the CAF U-23 qualifier match billed to take place on Saturday, 18th July at the brand new ultra modern 40,000 capacity Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium that was designed and built by the immediate past administration of Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
The conspicuous emotional build up among football fans in the Port Harcourt occasioned by the activities of the Local Organizing Committee who are are doing all within their reach to mobilize large crowds of supporters to help cheer Nigeria’s U-23 team led by coach Sampson Siasia in their crucial match against the Congolese team has accidentally triggered strong pro Amaechi sentiments, as supporters and admirers of the strong man of Rivers politics have taken to every available media to remind the world that the architectural masterpiece for which the government and people of the state are set to proudly display was built by a man they say has been unfairly demonized by the incumbent state government.
Using hash tags like #SiasiaWelcomeToAmaechiLegacy , #TheAmaechiIknow #OneOfTheAmaechiLegacy and a lavish accompaniment of pictures of the stadium and other projects, fans of former governor Amaechi have in recent days taken over the blogosphere, inundating it with eulogies of their respected leader. A section of persons involved in the campaign say they are not interested in politics , but that with the end of the campaign season, it has become easier for them to appreciate the good works of Amaechi, especially the new stadium. Some say, they were inspired to join the campaign when pictures of the stadium emerging from the social media suddenly reminded them that beyond the heated political climate which almost enshrouded his last days in office, his outstanding achievements in several areas will remain indelible.
The more radical wing of the campaigners are loyalists and party faithfuls say they were moved to begin the campaign when it became clear that Chief Nyesom Wike,Who they accuse of spending most of his time and the resources of the state just to batter the image of Amaechi, was planning to use an Amaechi legacy project in his legitimacy building exercise, even as he continues in his unrelenting efforts to undermine the Amaechi achievements as governor. Campaigners say they are pained by the fact that despite Governor Wike’s mockery of the stadium and other projects sited within the new Greater Port Harcourt City which was being built by Amaechi, he now sees reason to showcase this edifice “in a mischievous way”, hence their decision to use the opportunity to point out out to the world that irrespective “calculated attempts” at portraying the two tenure rule of Chibuike Amaechi as a failure, there are actually so legacy projects dotted across the length and breadth of Rivers state that will continually remind people of his visionary leadership. On the other hand, some supporters of the former governor said they are not only grateful to NFF for Amesiemake stadium as venue but that thy are also happy see Governor mobilizing Rivers people to go and experience and assess by themselves this landmark achievement of the Amaechi government in a non political atmosphere. Many supporters of Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi have vowed to defend his legacies despited the organized campaign of calumny against him.