With the swelling number of presidential aspirants from the All Progressives Congress (APC), frontline Presidential aspirant, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has advised party delegates to vote wisely and not to waste their votes at the upcoming presidential primary.
Addressing delegates in Edo State, weekend, Amaechi urged them not to be carried away with the bevy of aspirants from the ruling party, but to stay focused on the goal of voting a credible, experienced and performing aspirant like himself to fly the party flag at the 2023 presidential elections.
He said, “Politicians will come to ask for your votes, but please, as South South people, as politicians, as good people of Nigeria, don’t waste your votes. The problem with politicians is you. The elites have shown you that they are here to ‘chop money’ and you allow them. They will bring money here and say you should vote for them, and nobody will care to ask ‘what was he before now, what is his performance?’ The economy they want to come and manage, how have they performed?
“Ask me as Minister for Transport, I’m working hard to make sure that Lagos-Calabar rail line begins and it will come through Benin. I can account for my part. So when those in charge of the economy come to you for votes, ask them how they have managed the economy. As I’m here, ask me. If you ask these kind of questions, they will not come forward. Me, I come with experience, let them come with that experience. I come with the experience of being a Speaker for eight years and I managed my colleagues without being impeached. First time in the history of Nigeria that a Speaker will serve for eight years without being impeached. It was me. And I was Chairman, Speakers Forum, twice. You understand what it means to manage your equals? I was elected Chairman of Governors Forum, twice. If I didn’t manage the Governor’s Forum well, would my colleagues have voted for me?” He asked.
Amaechi also harped on the importance of having an electable candidate on the ballot for the APC to win the presidency.
“The electability of a candidate is essential for you, if not, the APC will lose the election. For now, I think I’m the most electable. I’m tried, tested and trusted,” Amaechi said, adding that he has a wealth of experience and history of project delivery to show, from his time as Governor of Rivers State and now as Minister of Transportation.
He said, “if they ask me, I have huge evidences, Model Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Primary Health Care Centres, Hospitals, Roads, 750 megawatts of power in Rivers State. Children were sent overseas to study, 13,200 teachers were employed, and other achievements as Governor. As Minister for Transportation, I finished the Kaduna-Abuja rail, Lagos-Ibadan is running. For those of you who say, ‘what has he done in the South South?’ There’s Warri-Itakpe rail line, only two communities are in Kogi, the rest are in Edo and Delta. States. We have started Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail, and we will start the Lagos-Calabar rail. So when they say ‘he has not done anything in the South South,’ are they saying Delta and Edo are not part of the Niger Delta? So I have evidence of what my contributions are to APC and to Nigeria. I can account for the period I have been in office. So if they bring money, you take it, but let us rise, vote right and defend our votes.”
Amaechi was also at the Palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare 2, who told the Minister that he would have been surprised if he wasn’t running, as he is well positioned to lead the country.
“If you didn’t come out, we would have been surprised. We have heard you, we have been watching all you have been doing as the Minister of Transportation. We commend you for what you have done for the railway lines, but the security agencies need to be involved considering what happened the last time on Abuja-Kaduna railway line. Benin throne is non-partisan, however, we endeavor to follow our ancestors directives to guide and pray,” the Oba said.