By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
KADUNA—Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State has described presidential aspirant under the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as Buhari’s loyalist and confidant.
“There was a time I was in the opposition, the DSS was looking for me, they wanted to arrest me. Amaechi told me where to go and wait for him. I waited and he drove me to the DSS himself and insisted that I should be questioned and released to him same day and that was what happened. So, who is my friend? Who is my confidant?” El-Rufa’i said.
El-Rufai’s statement came barely two days days after he and Kaduna delegates to the APC national convention endorsed Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Murtala Square, Kaduna.
Rotimi Amaechi was in Kaduna yesterday and told APC delegates he was prepared to be the President in 2023.
” I am young and the most experienced of all the presidential aspirants. The presidency requires agility of a young man, the elderly people should go home and rest,” he said.
Governor El-Rufai described Amaechi as his own friend and confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the former minister won Buhari’s heart in 2011 when as a PDP governor of Rivers State, he funded the convention of Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
He said: “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was here two days ago and you promised him support, today, here is my friend, my confidant, what are you going to say?
“Many people contesting election always say delegates will hardly make heaven, because they don’t keep to promise, but I always say Kaduna delegates are different. You were in a hurry and didn’t listen to what other aspirants will tell you.
”Amaechi is here and I told you that, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is also coming after him, Governor Kayode Fayemi is also coming. Also, my big brother who took CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakari, is also coming. As a result of that, you should be prepared and know what to tell them.
“Let me tell you people something, in 2011 when we were in CPC, we were to go to convention and we didn’t have money. Amaechi then was governor of Rivers State under the PDP., I don’t know how he got to know, then he asked how much was needed to hold the convention, and he gave the money. It was the money we used to organise the 2011 convention.
“Since then, President Muhammadu Buhari asked me to continue talking to him. When they were meeting, thinking of defecting to APC, we used to meet with the seven governors before two chickened out.
”Amaechi turned his back against his own neighbour, Goodluck Jonathan and said he was going to follow Buhari. He held on to that trust, that is why Daura Emirate gave him that title of Dan Amanan Daura.
“We are followers of Buhari. It is what he tells us that we do. So, here is my friend and Buhari’s loyalist, what are you going to do? You should know, after today’s discussion, there are going to be discussions.
“Others will come too, but who is your friend? Who is your loyalist? Your friend and your loyalist is someone who remembers you when you had nothing and nobody with you. Governor Amaechi gave that support, he did it for Buhari and he did it for me.
“There was a time I was in the opposition, the DSS was looking for me, they wanted to arrest me. Amaechi told me where to go and wait for him. I waited and he drove me to DSS himself and he insisted that I should be questioned and released to him same day and that was what happened. So, who is my friend? Who is my confidant?”
“Now, I am going to ask you people two questions, one you can answer the other you can choose not to answer. Have we agreed that it is justice that presidency should go back to the south? The delegates replied him yes.
“The second one is, Asiwaju came on Thursday, now Amaechi is here, what are you going to say, or are you going to tell me later?”
Amaechi had earlier told the delegates that he would be resigning as the Minister of Transport today.
He said he was one of the youngest of all the Presidential aspirants in his party the APC, saying ” our elders should go home and rest…I governed a state that was ravaged at the time with insecurity but I was able to successfully tame the situation.
” If elected President, I will do same in Nigeria, I will continue with President Buhari’s Agricultural transformations to address hunger, the administration of President Buhari inherited poverty but has been able to change the situation positively.
“You need to vote for a candidate that will protect and provide for all regardless of region, religion and tribe and that is what am promising you.
“As speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, I was elected chairman of Nigerian speakers twice and as governor, I was also elected Chairman Nigeria Governors forum twice, it shows I have what it takes to govern.
”I am asking you not to waste Kaduna votes, please give me your votes and I will come back to Kaduna to thank you.”