…Says has no plans to defect to PDP
By Anthony Ogbonna
The Minister of Transport and former Governor of Rivers state, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has said that he has no personal problems with the current Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike but, however, dislikes what he described as the “maladministration, incompetence and lack of vision” with which Wike is piloting the affairs of the state.
Amaechi who took to his twitter handle to have a one-on-one interaction with Nigerians and especially those from Rivers state during the Christmas Day also wished them and all Nigerians a happy celebration.
The minister who took his time to respond to individual questions touching on several issues ranging from his alleged feud with Wike; the monorail project, and whether he plans to defect from APC to PDP, among others, also put to proper perspective, some Nigerians who hitherto had wrong notion about some issues involving his present ministry and his past administration as governor of the state.
However, Amaechi also said the current Governor of the state has denied the Rivers people of a mega project when the Wike-led administration chose to put on hold the Port Harcourt monorail project which his(Amaechi’s) administration had set for the people.
Recall that the Port Harcourt monorail, which was the pet project of Amaechi when he held sway as Governor of the state, was put on hold by the Governor Wike-led administration after Wike allegedly said he would “not touch Amaechi’s monorail and that the entire state has told him not to continue with the project,” Wike was quoted in a report as saying.
A twitter user, Sopirinye Jaja with handle @Sopirinye, asked thus: “Any plans for Federal government to consider taking over Rivers state mono rail. Rivers govt already invested billions in mono rail.”
But Amaechi replied saying, “It’s a state project. We can’t just come & take it over.”
For Akin Bello with handle @AkinBello, he had lamented saying, “That monorail project is one of the bold steps of @ChibuikeAmaechi administration, still praying the new government devotes more time tomorrow to it and others under the Greater PortHarcourt concept.”
In response, Amaechi said, “That’s left for the present State government to do. There should be continuity in Govt. I completed several former governor Omehia & Odili projects when I was governor. PMB did not abandon projects, just because they were started by GEJ, e.g Abuja – Kaduna rail line.”
Morgan Ikhile with twitter handle @IkhileMorgan wrote thus, “2018 na election year,so you will use one hand to fight Wike and the other to execute projects.l am laughing in Swahili…quakakukaku”
But Amaechi replied him thus, “Me, fight Wike? No…At the appropriate time, Rivers people will show him red card.”
Fagbemile kayode @fkj4real praised the Minister over his comment not to engage Wike.
According to him, “nice one sir, you are too big to waste ur time fighting him.”
Asked about the fate of Greater Port Harcourt project, a new city development, Amaechi started when he was governor, the Minister said, “Greater Port Harcourt! Look at how they abandoned that beautiful concept, that new city. Hear the staff there have not seen salaries for about seven months. SMH There is God!”
On rift with Abe
On his alleged rift with Senator Magnus Abe, Amaechi said “no comment”. He however agreed with a Twitter user that the truth will always triumph.
“Absolutely. Truth will always prevail. Merry Christmas to you & your family.”, he wrote.
Another user, Engr Samuel Olukanni with handle @samolukanni said, “We will continue to pray and support you sir.”
To this Amaechi promised Nigerians would hear more from him & the ministry of Transport in the coming days. According to him, “Thank you. You know what keeps me going? Your prayers and support.”
CBN Gov Akinsola Ak @cbngov_akin1 also wrote, “Well articulated sir We will continue to dish out the TRUTH God has blessed us wit leaders like you…. Nigeria will be great we believe God bless NIGERIA.”
Another, Drizzygift @drizzygiftadded, “We are strongly behind your back… Even the tower of babylon was not built in one day.. #TeamAPC.”
Amaechi replied, “Yes, Nigeria will be great. God bless Nigeria.”
Sunny | Ex-Nigerian @sunnywinehousse wrote: “What tremendous progress? Weekend wen go better, na from Monday we dey know.”
Amaechi replied, “Not exactly correct. Often times, depending on individual peculiar circumstances, we may not know until Thursday or even Friday morning.”
On whether he plans on decamping to PDP
Asked whether he will be going back to the PDP, the minister simply answered, “No”.
Another user also asked what he was doing about a rumour that Governor Wike ensured the emergence of Uche Secondus as PDP Chairman so that he(Wike) could monitor Amaechi through Secondus. The twitter user asukutj @asktja had asked thus: “Sir I hear Secondus is from your place hence Wike picked him to check mate your rising popularity and keep him in office.”
But the minister said, “Lol! Can anyone stop the sun from shining? Anyway, I dey kampe.”
Badru Abdul Rafiu @badru75 asked, “Your Excellency please put to rest the issues with Intels that it’s not a withchunt against @atiku.”
But Amaechi said there was no such thing as witch hunting of anybody but that the issues were been resolve.
Also, the Minister responded to certain other issues raised by concerned Nigerians.
Many Nigerians, especially those from Port Harcourt who said they are ever loyalists of the Minister, equally used the occasion to commend Amaechi over the developments he put on ground in Rivers while he was Governor.
A user believed to be an indigene of Cross Rivers, Frank Ntiti @frankntiti, called of the minister to lend his inputs to the state saying, “Cross River needs more of your input in the Guber race. see NDOMA-EGBA and Ebri as partners, your eclectic pedigree suggest you could be next Numero meji bi Eledu ba gba.”
Amaechi replied saying, “Everyone who’s for the growth, development and progress of Nigeria is my partner.”
Adigun Ademola @AdigunAdemola2 said, “I saw the arrival of the new coaches along airport road Abuja. The government is working.”
The minister replied saying,
Amaechi also said that work is ongoing at the Port Harcourt Airport. He also said that the airport will soon be completed.
To another user, he said, “Oga boss, sorry say dem wan charge you 18k to travel. President Buhari Plan na to take rail & trains to every state capital for Naija but the problem go be to get money to do all the 36 states within the time Buhari be President… We dey work, we go try.”
The user, ogbonnaya jude @ajude4life, had lamented saying, “Oga boss, Abeg this train things Sha una go do am reach imo state, I been won travel today but the fee for transport Na 18k I just go back house, but with train for cheap for this season. No vex say I dey type with pigin. Na pigin English u fit take hear truth.”
For Sharaph Ade Abimbola @abidemyola, “@ChibuikeAmaechi Meka Sir,Am one of die hard fans and a real phc boy. Your giants strides are still unmatched from diobu to elakihia to rumuomasi and beyond. Long may u live.”
For Mr Ossie! @francis_osita, “I acknowledge I don’t know him personally but I saw and benefited from his eight years development,My neighbours and friends hv Bsc’s,and Msc’s from foreign universities to mention a few. Thats the perfect human capital development everyone dreams of.”
“And a new government came and cancelled it. Toying with the future of our young people. No worries, there is God”, Amaechi responded to the Twitter user.
Another user simply wrote, “I don’t need attention from neither Amaechi/Wike bcs my economy doesn’t depend on politics or the gains of it.Im a private man content with what God has offered me and family.Bt I believe in principles Amaechi stands 4.”
For Boye @DIVINEBOYE, “One of legacies of Amaechi is the reconstruction and completion of the abandoned ring road by Odili and Abiye in Okrika. I’m an Okrikan. Anytime I enter that town, I give him thumbs up.”
Another user, CHUKSLORD @CHUKS62432110 said, “I think this is what have been affecting a lot of states, each political party with different ambitions, NO CONTINUITY.”
For Nasir Alhaji Yamusa @YamusaNasir , “Very well said sir, hey should be continuity in government and that will bring meaningful development.
But the minister replied saying,” That’s left for the present State government to do. There should be continuity in Govt. I completed several former governor Omehia & Odili projects when I was governor. PMB did not abandon projects, just because they were started by GEJ, e.g Abuja – Kaduna rail line.”
Another user, James Okene @JamesOkene, suggested saying, “@ChibuikeAmaechi government must not do everything, you can design the master plan of the rail sector, acquire the right of way and allow private sectors to build the rails. Or the Pension funds can solve all our rail problems, they can recover their investments on time.”
And Amaechi replied saying, “We have been looking for private investors and we are still looking.”
Doubts and praises
However, to some other Nigerians, this is way too good for the Minister to respond directly to them on twitter. In fact, some of them doubted if it was actually the minister that was responding to Nigerians.
For instance, A twitter user, Valentine Thankgod with handle @thankgodvalt82, wrote saying, “I believe someone is managing this twitter handle for RCA.”
Another twitter user, Usman yakubu @iam_shaga, in disbelief, “woooooo, today a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has just reply my tweets!!!”
He had first tweeted, “@ChibuikeAmaechi Sir you have never reply my tweets may today in the spirit of Xmas you will reply . I’m waiting.”
First Son with handle, @mistaendowed01 had asked him saying, “When Government officials become too nice, it makes me suspect their moves. Hon ministers, hope you are not planning to increase transport fare @ChibuikeAmaechi.” But Amaechi replied, thus: “”Lol Those that know me, know that I am always ‘too nice.'”
Shehu Umar Abdullahi with handle @mallamshehu said, “Not everyday is Christmas @ChibuikeAmaechi replies all tweets, today is indeed Christmas.”
For Maureen @Maurydobis, “I have a new level of respect for you from today, staying with us this Xmas ,answering questions and following @ChibuikeAmaechi …God will use you to better our lives, politics or not…you are a lion indeed.”
Da King @ezekingston wrote, ” See who’s on twitter today @ChibuikeAmaechi.
Hon. Minister sir. We ned R/S back but 1st u ned to sort d division issues out. As a leader bring ur pple 2geda. Am interested in servin my Etche pple. However no one is certain of d crisis. Seeing too is a problem…”
But Amaechi replied thus, ” Don’t worry. We will rescue Rivers.”
Brighton Nwidoh @NdBrighton added thus: “If I say I don’t appreciate what our brother and Minister @ChibuikeAmaechi is doing today I’ll be lying…we need more of this. He’s always been different, still is. Big ups Sir… PS : the state misses U.”
Amaechi replied saying, “Thank you thank you. Don’t worry, CHANGE is coming to Rivers State.”
Also, another user Imeh @iublessed3 advised the minister to stay focused in bringing the monorail project to life some day. According to him, “@ChibuikeAmaechi CRA Sir, Merry Christmas, its good to have you closer to the youth and the entire polity via tweet. Reading your responses to issues shows there is hope in 2018. Actually, I’d prefer if u stay proactive in implementing your plans, as being reactive is expensive.”
Also, another user suggested the minister first strenghthen the All Progressives Congress, APC, party in the state before anything else, saying, “@ChibuikeAmaechi Hello sir, I tink we nid to build the party and make practical reforms n introspect of 2015 elections study and make changes tats the only way to go..”
Amaechi said “We are strengthening the party in Rivers State and the input of every party member interested in building the party is vital.”
Another user asked, “@ChibuikeAmaechi people still hoarding Tickets at Idu train station , there should be more coaches by now and Tickets sold online sir.” But Amaechi said More coaches were coming and that ticket hoarding would equally be a thing of the past soon.
Olatunde @oluwa_tunde said, “@ChibuikeAmaechi Mr. Minister sir, I have never been ur fan, neither am I from ur constituency but reading ur tweet with ur peeps just got me to like your humility in ur response. All the best sir and u just got a new fan. I like you. #MerryChristmas and God bless u.”
Another, ogbonnaya jude @ajude4life, wrote, “Oga boss, this ur tweeter replying things na the only thing when dey sweet me for this Christmas, please make u find time dey talk to us. Merry Christmas to u and urs.”
For Prudence @Prudenc69283326, “Sir I’m not Nigerian but I like the way you are communicating with fellow Nigerians . You are doing great.”
Amaechi also gave some pieces of advise to Nigerians, especially the younger ones who have some lofty ambitions.
According to Amaechi, to succeed in government as a good politician and leader, one must put God first and then have an unwavering commitment to service. According to him, “God, first. Commitment to service, stay focus, pursue your dream, etc.”
The minister also said that his office is always open to anybody and everybody on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that anybody with lofty ideas could always visit him in his office without any form of protocol.