EXPLOSIVE!!! Rotimi Amaechi Opens Up On PDP, Atiku, Obasanjo, Oshiomhole, And The 2019 Presidential Debate, Denies Buhari’s Major Campaign Promise
The Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is no match for President Buhari, in the forthcoming Presidential election.
Amaechi, who was a Guest on the ‘Morning Show’ of ARISE News, boasted that judging from the anti-corruption reputation of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC, government, the PDP and its Candidate will be a mismatch for his party, in 2019.
He noted that evaluating the performances of the incumbent Nigerian Leader, in comparison with previous administrations under the opposition party, would further reduce the chances of the PDP, which he labelled as corrupt and unfit to take Nigeria to the Promise Land.
Asked if as the DG of the President’s re-election bid, he feels the ruling party feels uneasy that the PDP has a very strong team in Atiku/Obi, Amaechi said: “I am telling you clearly, we have nothing to fear about; I am not joking.”
“As soon as PDP elected its Presidential Candidate, the first thing that went to the social media was corruption. I am not saying whether he is corrupt or not, but the first battle you had in the social media, was to battle the issue of corruption, and those issues of corruption were the things said by ex-President Obasanjo”, he stated.
On the celebrated reconciliation between Obasanjo and Atiku, Amaechi revealed that their vituperative attacks against each other, will also be made public for Nigerians to decide, saying: “Their statements are in the public. We would get back all those statements to the table.”
According to him: “There are two issues that we will be focusing on, corruption; Nigerians will have to decide whether to go back to the stealing, where Nigerian government was borrowing money to pay salary.
We are not borrowing money to pay salary now; where we were importing tomatoes, when we can plant tomatoes at home; when we were buying about 500,000 eggs per day from South Africa; and now that we are producing the eggs.
“The reason is that there are too many issues to debate about. For 16 years, Vice President Abubakar was in power for eight years, did they do anything on railways, the answer is no. I saw in my office, contracts awarded by the last government, to Nigerians who do not know anything about railways. To build a narrow gauge, how much was spent? That is why I said I would not pay, and I will not pay; when I leave the next person can pay them, because these Nigerians did nothing, and they are asking to be paid for having rehabilitated the narrow gauge.”
Explaining why Nigerians have not witnessed much in terms of infrastructure, especially roads, despite claims by the administration that it is spending huge amounts on the sector, Amaechi noted that the weather and other natural factors have delayed work at most of the sites.
He maintained that there are ongoing construction works in most parts of the country, adding that, the APC-led administration has been able to implement capital budget almost at a 100 percent rating, as against a dismal situation during the past administration.
The Minister listed several ongoing road projects and railway facilities, which he said the Buhari-led administration has invested hugely, in the last three and a half years.
On the forthcoming campaigns, Amaechi said that it will be issues-based.
He denied that the party ever promised to make naira equivalent to the dollar, during the 2015 elections.
Amaechi stated: “We will be telling Nigerians the same thing – do not let thieves come to power again. The President never said he will make naira equal to a dollar. We are not that cheap Economists, we do not practice voodoo economy.
“The President was clear during his campaign. ‘I will ensure that insecurity is tackled; I will ensure that we rebuild the economy and create employment; I will ensure that corruption is tackled’, because corruption is the basis in which we are finding ourselves into these entire problems.
“I give you this example, by the time we assumed office, we discover that PDP had taken $2 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and we followed the money. It was in everybody’s private pockets. The railway line from Lagos to Kano is $2.6 billion. So, we would have had two times that project with the money.”
Responding to the allegations of bias against Buhari in his fight against corruption, and the fact that he and others in APC have been shielded from prosecution on corruption allegations, Amaechi said that he was ready to submit himself for investigation any day, and any time.
Amaechi pointed out that it was instructive that the first former Governor to be sent to jail for corruption under this administration, is an APC member.
“The prominent persons that went to jail under this administration are APC members. Does it take anything away from the fact that the President does not defend anybody?” he asked.
When asked to comment on the crisis bedevilling the APC, and the quizzing of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, by the Department of State Security Services, DSS, Amaechi stated that it showed that Buhari would not like to protect the Chairman of his party from being grilled by the DSS.
On why President Buhari evaded Presidential debate while seeking for election in 2015, Amaechi said that his Campaign Organisation thought that at that time the debate was not necessary, and that it was better he talked to Nigerians directly during campaigns.
Amaechi disclosed that the Campaign Organisation would decide on whether to advise Buhari to participate in the debate for the 2019 election, when the time comes, adding that, it will be based on its assessment of the situation.
What’s your take on Amaechi’s believe that Buhari will win the presidential elections next year? Please drop your comment below and don’t forget to share.
The Buhari administration suffered a major setback in its bid to revive the nation’s railway sector after one of the major investors decided to end its participation in the venture.
The federal government Thursday gave reasons why American firm – General Electric (GE), pulled out of a planned $2.7 billion deal to concession and rehabilitate Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway, stating that GE was no longer in the business of transportation and had to hand over its interest in the deal to another firm.
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said that prior to GE backing out of the deal, it had not signed any concession agreement with it or any of the firms involved but was still negotiating with them.
Amaechi said during an interview on the ‘The Morning Show’ of ARISE News Network, a THISDAY sister company, that GE did not abandon the railway deal on account of Nigeria’s economy, which economic experts said wasn’t doing very well even though the government believes otherwise.
“General Electric did not pull out. One thing that thrives heavily in Nigeria is rumour, I don’t know where you got that information, no concession agreement has been signed, none. We have been negotiating, there is no way you will get a concession agreement in one year,” said Amaechi, in the interview monitored in Abuja.
He explained: “What happened is that most of their business activities, they have dropped a lot of (them), I don’t know if it includes energy, transportation and all that. When they found out that they couldn’t continue in that line of business…because they were no longer in transportation business, the next company took over the lease, they didn’t pull out, it has nothing to do with our economy, they were excited about this thing.”
Amaechi, noted that GE told him they had for 11 years approached different governments of Nigeria to do the railway concession but weren’t successful because previous governments wanted to award contracts for the railway while that of Muhammadu Buhari, preferred the concession model.
He stated that South African firm, Transnet SOC Limited, which deals in pipeline, port, and rail construction would now take over from GE, and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be set up with Transnet and other firms to do the job.
This is a big blow to the Buhari administration, however, can the government secure another investor?
Let us have your views in the comment section.
Former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that the PDP is not an alternative to the ruling APC.
The Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the President Muhammadu Buhari 2019 Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party is not offering the country any better alternative in governance.
Amaechi who was guest on The Morning Show of ARISE News TV, a THISDAY sister company, said the All Progressives Congress-led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had shown transparency, honesty and integrity in handling of the affairs of governance.
Amaechi also said that the administration had shown enough commitment in delivering on promises in the area of security, infrastructure and economic stabilisation.
Explaining why Nigerians have not seen much in terms of infrastructure, especially roads, despite claims by the administration that it is spending huge amount of money on the sector, Amaechi said weather and other natural factors had delayed work in most of the sites.
He said there were ongoing construction work in most parts of the country.
Meanwhile, APC has responded to the endorsement of Atiku by some Igbo leaders.
APC said it considered Atiku and his PDP co-travellers as people who had lost any sense of shame.
In a statement issued by the APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu, the party described the endorsement of Atiku and PDP by some leaders of the South East for the 2019 general elections as an affront on the Igbo people who were frontline victims of the 16 years of the PDP misrule.
“It will be interesting to know what the PDP will be telling the Igbo people during the campaign. The South East people have three and half years of visible progress in terms of massive infrastructure and the thousands of common people who are benefiting from the social programme investments under APC compare to the PDP’s 16 years of retrogression,” it said.
APC said that it was confident that the Igbo people “will not be fooled by any group, by whatever name, to sell a thoroughly discredited party like the PDP to the very discerning Igbo people”.
Is it confident expressed by Amaechi justified?
Let us have your opinion in the comment section.
The build-up to the 2019 General Elections has been dramatic, to put it mildly.
More than ever before, individuals no longer have the sole ability to determine their political fate and future but rely on some few kingmakers often regarded as godfathers.
Since the return of democracy in1999, all the transitions in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 had seen the emergence of some godfathers who either dismantle those already calling the shots or fiercely competed with them.
Evidently, 2019 is not an exception, as brand-new shot-callers are emerging.
Let’s unveil three of the new powerful godfathers profiled by Daily Trust setting the agenda ahead of 2019.
After forcing his own political godfather, Obong Victor Attah into retirement, Senator Godswill Akpabio, fondly called ‘Uncommon Senator’ has been in charge of the political machinery of Akwa Ibom State since his early days as governor in 2007.
The 56-year-old lawyer was brought into the political scene of the oil-rich state in 2002 when Victor Attah, the then governor of the state appointed him as the Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources.
As the tenure of Attah was elapsing, Akpabio dribbled his way to emerge as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2006 and won the 2007 governorship election in the state. In 2011, he won his second term and completed his tenure in 2015. Singlehandedly, he brought in his successor at the Akwa Ibom State Government House in the person of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in 2015. But despite their long journey in the slippery political pathway, something went wrong midway and they are no longer on the same page politically.
With the APC structure in his palms, Akpabio anointed Nsima Udo Ekere, the current MD/CEO of the Niger Delta Development Commission as the governorship candidate of the party for next year’s election. If Ekere defeats Emmanuel then, Akpabio will consolidate his hold on the state.
However, if he fails, he would most likely join the league of Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) and Abiodun Amosun (Ogun) who would have joined the crop of emerging godfathers had they succeeded in clinching seats for their candidates in their states.
The claim that ex-Rivers State governor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi is an emerging Godfather of the APC in Rivers State is not far-fetched.
His emergence came to the limelight in 2015 when he singlehandedly installed the MD of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, as the governorship flag-bearer of APC against the wishes of the likes of Senator Magnus Abe who was thought to be more qualified to fly the party’s flag in 2015.
The issue of who flies the party’s gubernatorial flag in 2015 would have caused a big crisis in the party, but Amaechi had his way as he succeeded in installing his preferred candidate.
When Peterside was defeated by Governor Wike in that election, Amaechi still confirmed his dominance, as he used his influence in the presidency to make Peterside MD of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Other APC members in the state who are loyal to him were compensated with juicy jobs in Federal Government parastatals and boards of federal government agencies. He also nominated and ensured that some of his party loyalists got both state and national assembly positions.
Amaechi’s clout also played out in May during the APC ward congresses, as he schemed out Senator Magnus Abe’s supporters from the congresses and eventually succeeded in installing the Flag Ojukaye Amachree-led state chapter of APC.
Amaechi also singlehandedly nominated and installed the party’s senatorial candidates in the three senatorial districts as well as the eight House of Reps slots in the state.
Prior to his election as Gombe State governor in 2011, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo was better-known as a technocrat. He was serving as Accountant General of the Federation when then-governor Danjuma Goje persuaded him to resign and contest for the office of the governor, which he eventually won.
Even though certain people allege that it was strictly a business affair between the two, some political observers in the state said being a novice in politics, Goje handpicked Dankwambo to succeed him under the intention that he (Goje) would continue to run the state by proxy from Abuja.
However, not long after he took over power, Dankwambo started distancing himself from Goje and allegedly orchestrated petitions that started Goje’s ordeal with the EFCC.
The menace of kidnapping in Nigeria needs a more holistic approach to help bring it to an end, this must include citizens getting much more involved.
A former Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Sunday afternoon rescued a kidnapped victim along the Omoku / Egbeda road in Rivers State, his office said in a statement.
Mr. Amaechi was on his way to Ubimini Community of Emohua LGA to address APC supporters when he sighted a Lexus SUV abandoned in a bush.
The minister, who was leading his convoy, consequently stopped by and ordered his security team to comb the forest in search of the occupants of the vehicle. It was during the search that the security personnel in the minister’s convoy rescued one of the occupants of the abandoned Lexus SUV.
The victims turned out to be APC supporters attending the PVC sensitisation rally in Ubimini where the minister was to address party supporters.
Narrating his ordeal to Mr. Amaechi, the rescued victim, Edi Chinda Edi, said he and colleagues were on their way to Ubimini for the APC programme when the kidnappers barricaded the expressway and attacked them.
He said eight of them were in the Lexus SUV when the kidnappers armed with AK47 riffles and other dangerous weapons struck.
“We were eight in the car and they succeeded in kidnapping seven others .While they were beating and forcing us into the bush I managed to escape into the other side of the forest,” he explained.
Worried about the safety of other victims who were yet to be found, Mr. Amaechi directed some of his security personnel to continue the search and ensure that the remaining victims were rescued and their abductors arrested and prosecuted according to law.
“It would be recalled that Amaechi, had ceaselessly complained about the high level of insecurity in the state under the watch of his successor, Nyesom Wike,” the statement by Mr. Amaechi’s office said.
Despite politicising the matter, what remained is most important matter is insecurity and the rising case of crime in the polity, how best can this issue be checked?
Leave your opinion in the comment section.
Though his primary duties borders on transportation, former Governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi on Sunday afternoon performed a commendable and heroic feat along the Omoku/Egbeda road in Rivers State.
Reports indicate that Amaechi on Sunday rescued a kidnapped victim along the Omoku/Egbeda road
Amaechi was said to be on his way to Ubimini Community of Emohua LGA to address APC supporters when he sighted a Lexus SUV abandoned in the bush.
Amaechi, who was leading his convoy consequently stopped by and ordered his security team to comb the forest in search of the occupants of the vehicle.
It was during the search that the security personnel in the minister’s convoy rescued one of the occupants of the abandoned Lexus Jeep.
The victim turned out to be APC supporters attending the PVC sensitisation rally in Ubimini where the minister was to address party supporters.
Narrating his ordeal to Amaechi, the rescued victim, Edi Chinda Edi, said, they were on their way to Ubimini for the APC programme when the kidnappers barricaded the Express Way and attacked them.
He said, eight of them were in the Lexus jeep when the kidnappers armed with AK47 riffles and other dangerous weapons struck.
“We were eight in the car and they succeeded in kidnapping seven others . While they were beating and forcing us into the bush I managed to escape into the other side of the forest,” he explained.
Worried about the safety of other victims who were yet to be found, Amaechi directed some of his security personnel to continue the search and ensure that the remaining victims were rescued and their abductors arrested and prosecuted according to law.
It would be recalled that Amaechi , had ceaselessly complained about the high level of insecurity in the state under the watch of his successor, Nyesom Wike.
Ahead of the Presidential elections in 2019, the current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed why some Nigerians are against re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari back to office.
Amaechi, who is the Director-General of Buhari/Osinbajo Re-election Campaign Organisation said some Nigerians are opposed to Buhari’s re-election because he has refused to share public funds for personal use.
Speaking during the presentation of a book: “The Niger Delta Paradox: Impoverished in the Midst of Abundance,” written by Monsignor John Wangbu, a Catholic Priest, yesterday, the former Rivers State governor, however, expressed confidence that with the President’s “impressive performance” since assuming office, most Nigerians would vote for him next year.
According to Amaechi, voting for Buhari will enable him to continue with his developmental strides and empowerment of the people.
He said: “Why some persons are saying they will not vote for President Buhari next year is because the money available, instead of sharing it, we are working with it for development across Nigeria. If you see a disciplined person like President Buhari, who is saying we cannot continue like this and be sharing money, we need to support him.
“We need to produce what we eat. Imagine Nigeria importing tomatoes and meat. Before, Nigeria was importing 500,000 eggs per day from South Africa. We are now producing our tomatoes and rice. We have reduced the importation of chicken and eggs.
“Niger Deltans are impoverished by themselves. The Ogoni man who broke crude oil pipe, is he not aware that there will be environmental crisis? The Ikwerre man who stops the man who is producing crude oil in one of Ikwerre communities, did he remember how much it costs the Federal Government and the Nigerian nation and the loss incurred for the number of days of stoppage of oil production?
“The private individual in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, who went to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company to collect money. Did he think that the money he collected belonged to Agip? If the money belonged to Agip, he would not be given. The money he collected actually belonged to the Niger Delta. Our agitation is in private pockets.
“Calculate how much has come to Rivers State, including my administration, and look at the volume of development that has come out of the money, and see whether we are making progress. I am not saying the Federal Government is treating us in the Niger Delta well, but the funds that we have managed to get, what have we done with them? Do not blame politicians, blame yourselves too. The problem is not leadership, but followership. We must ask the right questions. It should not be a land of anything goes.
“A friend of mine was made the Minister for Environment and she wanted to take up the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) for clean-up of the polluted Ogoni environment. She came to me and asked what she should do. In the Niger Delta, most people do not like development projects, but to share the money. I told her the first thing she would experience would be requests to share the money. I told her that if she smiled or laughed with the people, she would be in trouble. The first day she arrived, the people started demanding money, but she ignored them and she was successful.
“The current people (in HYPREP) are having problems, because they are listening to the people. Me, I will not listen, but I will do what is in my mind. I only want to be judged by God and the society. I want to live, knowing that my conscience is clear and I have satisfied myself that I have done the right things. So that I can sleep freely. My conscience worries me a lot.”
Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister, on Tuesday appreciation God as the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and other passengers on a Lagos bound flight escaped crash.
The aircraft, which took off from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was said to have ran into turbulence due to bad weather and almost crashed but was able to land safely.Reacting to the incident, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain wondered why the pilot did not return to base.
Stating that most crashes were caused by error judgement, Fani-Kayode warned that “this must stop.”In a series of tweets, he wrote: “I thank God for sparing the lives of all those that were on the Arik Air flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos on sunday.
“I gather that @ChibuikeAmaechi, the Min. of Transport, was also on the flight and I praise the Lord that he and all the other passengers landed safely.“I am however constrained to ask why the pilot did not go back to base once he noticed that the weather was bad?Why did he hover for 2 hours?
“Why did he keep attempting to land in such weather?This is something that @hadisirika,the Min. of State for Aviation,needs to look into.
“Most crashes are caused by error of judgement and we must ensure that this stops. Nevertheless I commend the courage, skill and commitment of the pilot and his crew and I thank God for their professionalism and for keeping everyone safe. May God continue to protect our skies!”
Amaechi had through his lawyer, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), written to Fani-Kayode and Olayinka, claiming that he (Amaechi) had been defamed by messages on the duos Twitter timeline concerning the controversy surrounding the recovered money.
The immediate past governor of Rivers State warned that there would be stiff legal actions should Fani-Kayode and Olayinka fail to adhere to his demand over the alleged defamatory acts.
Amaechi had in the copies of the two letters dated 14th April, 2017 quoted the offensive aspect of Fani-Kayode and Olayinka respectively as, “The $43 million is Rotimi Amaechi’s. He owns the flat it was found in (sic) too. NIA’s story is fake news! NIA does not keep cash in minister’s flats.”
“The Osborne Towers, a luxury residential complex in Ikoyi, Lagos, where EFCC said it found $43,449,987, 27,800 pounds N23,218,000 on Wednesday is owned by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Apart from the demand for an apology from the duo to be published in five national dailies and their Twitter handle, Amaechi specifically asked for the sum of N500 million from Fani-Kayode “as compensation for the malicious and defamatory claim”.
He, however caution that the amount might increase should Fani-Kayode fail to address the situation as expected, while Olayinka was asked to also apologise in five national dailies and pay the sum of N750 million “as compensation for the malicious and defamatory claim” on his (Olayinka) Twitter handle.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has slammed the slammed the slow pace of work at the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project. The former Governor of Rivers State expressed his disappointment during the monthly inspection of the project in Ibadan on Tuesday.
“There is a slow pace of work in Lagos axis of the project, “The expectations from the sub-contractor appointed for relocation of pipes and all that were not met.
“The persons relocating the water pipelines are expected to finish by November 2 with different excuses that they discovered other utilities underground.
“The excuses are not obtainable. I have told them to speed up the work,” he said.
The minister said about 10 train stations would be constructed from the Lagos axis to Ibadan to allow various communities have access to the train services.
The minister charged the China Civil Engineer Construction Company (CCECC), the contractor handling the project to employ Nigerian engineers in the construction works.
The minister said that there was need for more workforce working on site to enable them meet the target set for the project.
“I have instructed the contractor and the project consultant to have local engineers on site.
“The construction of beams which is ongoing is a strategic part of the project which should be understudied by Nigerian engineers to be able to carry out the project in future.
“Though there is a huge improvement in the level of work carried out on Abeokuta axis where some bridges had been constructed including the one on Ogun ,” he said.
Amaechi also urged the CCECC to employ more labour in order to expedite the project.