Amaechi Bows Out Today, Says I’ll Pursue Presidential Ambition In Earnest 

Amaechi Bows Out Today, Says I’ll Pursue Presidential Ambition In Earnest 
  • Blames Kaduna train attack on non-approval of surveillance contract

From Rahila Abdullahi, Kaduna and Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu, Abuja  

Minister of Transportation, Honourable Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed that he would tender his resignation letter today, in-line with an earlier directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to members of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, seeking elective positions to resign their appointment no later than May 16, 2022.

Amaechi, who made his intention to resign known in Kaduna yesterday during a visit to the state to canvas for the All Progressives Congress, APC, delegates ahead of the presidential primary election, stated that “I am resigning as the Minister of Transportation to pursue in earnest my presidential ambition”.

Besides, the exiting Minister also thanked Buhari for the opportunity to serve in the government.

The Minister, while discussing with the delegates, revealed that the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train would not have happened if the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had approved the surveillance contract he requested to monitor the rail track.

AljazirahNigeria recalls that Minister of State for Education, Honourable Emeka Nwajiuba, a presidential aspirant tendered his resignation last week, while Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige as well as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, who are seeking to contest presidency and governorship position in Kebbi State respectively had made a U-turn by withdrawing their ambition to contest.

Nwajiuba picked the expression of interest and nomination forms from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to contest for the presidency at the cost of N100 million.

The Minister last month, while speaking on his intention to run for presidency, had stated that he would only resign 30 days before the presidential election as stipulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

However, he changed his mind as the president during a Federal Executive Council; FEC meeting had singled him out for braving the odds to quit avoiding conflict of interest. 

AljazirahNigeria reports that Amaechi declared to succeed his principal early in April while addressing a crowd of supporters and leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the state party thanksgiving event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

In a speech entitled, ‘Forward With Courage’ at a thanksgiving service held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in the state capital he said, “Fellow Nigerians, I stand before you today to declare my intention and submit my application to serve as your next president” . 

“I did not come to this decision lightly; I have served our nation for the last seven years as minister of transportation.

“Eight years before that, I served as governor of Rivers State; in the preceding eight years before that, I was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. Within this period, I have also served as the Director-General of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign organisation twice”.

 “After more than two decades in the public arena, I had wanted to go on a holiday and spend more time with my family before charting a new course outside politics, but … I am compelled by the urgency of our present challenges to place my experience and proven capacity at the service of the nation at the highest level”, he said.

Amaechi continued that, “The next leg of my political journey will be tough. But I am excited to go out and engage with Nigerians from every walk of life. I am ready to go from Maiduguri to Makurdi, from Sokoto to Sagbama, from Yola to Oyo, from Badagry to Birnin Kebbi. To each town and village, I will have one message: “Hope is around the corner”.

“I look forward to meeting you in your towns, villages, cities, campuses, and creeks. I want to hear your desires, needs and pains. I want to know what matters most to you. I want to listen and learn. I will be coming with one assurance: I will be welcome everywhere because the blood of every Nigerian flows in my veins. I shall be the president of all and every Nigerian.

“I believe that despite our cultural differences, we remain one people under God. We may speak different languages or worship in different ways, but we all want the same things – a better life for our children, the ability to support our families, the freedom to live in peace without fear for our lives or properties.

“I have never been the type who folds his arms and complains about inadequacies I see around me. I have always jumped in with both feet to do whatever I can to help, to try and bring relief to those suffering, to work to make things right where I see wrong. If you elect me as your President, I promise to play my part to the best of my ability. Every day I will rise and go to work for you. I will never forget the fact that I am there to serve you.

“Today, I stand as an aspirant to the position of President because of that same passion for people; that same drive for results. More than ever before, I am burning with the zeal to make a decisive difference in the lives of all Nigerians.

“No matter the darts and arrows that come my way, I will remain steadfast because the stakes are too high. We cannot afford to fail. We cannot afford to veer off-course.

“I pledge my heart, mind and soul to the task of building a Nigeria in which every child can go to school, every young person can find work or support to start a business, every citizen can travel safely around the country and sleep at night knowing that law and order prevails and every Nigerian feels included, heard, and respected.

Party chieftains at the declaration include Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong and former APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and others.