…Says ‘I will treat you like a State’
…Says Ministers will know their portfolios before screening
Former Minister of Transportation and Presidential Aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has assured delegates of the Party in the Federal Capital Territory of better representation if they support him to clinch the Party’s presidential ticket and proceed to win the general elections in 2023.
Amaechi gave the assurance during his consultative meeting with delegates of the APC in Abuja, Tuesday night, adding that there would be equal representation between men and women, while Ministers will know their portfolios ahead of their screening and would be screened based on that.
“If you elect me as your president, ministers will know their portfolio before they get to the National Assembly, so that when the National Assembly is interviewing a Minister, they’ll interview the Minister to know their capacity, to see how qualified he is to be minister for Transport, for instance. So that when they are asked questions, it will border on how they can tackle challenges in those sectors.”
He added that Ministers from the 36 States and the FCT will be appointed by their people after stakeholders’ meetings to nominate at least three names from their States. This he noted is to ensure transparency and accountability.
“Where you give us two females, there must be one man. Where you give us two men, there must be one woman, preferably, one man, one woman and one youth. When they bring those names, the leadership of the Party at the National level will sit and choose one out of the three. The only ones I will be privileged to appoint would be the extras.”
For the people of the FCT who tend to feel marginalized by their status as a territory and not a State, Amaechi said, “I will treat you like a State, but you must give me the power to treat you like a State by voting for me. If given the chance, the FCT Minister will be from FCT.
“All of us will participate collectively. So that if we fail or succeed, all of us will be participants in either the failure or the success, but I can assure you we won’t fail, because I’ve never failed. As Speaker, as Governor, as Minister, you can see the railways.”
For safety on the rail lines, he said before he resigned as Minister, “We have put security in place so that those who will travel as soon as they (NRC) resumes (train service on Abuja-Kaduna rail line) on the 23rd will not have challenges. We have agreed with the Air Force that they will over-fly the trains so that anybody they see trying to compromise the tracks, they will shoot. People who have no business being on the track should stay away, because if they see anything suspicious, they will shoot.”
Responding, leader of the APC in the FCT, Sen. Isa Maina said, “your pedigree is intimidating. By God’s grace you’ll be President two times. Your very intimidating entourage speak volumes. We’ve had other aspirants come to speak to us and no one has come with such delegation.
“We trust your word that the FCT will be treated as a State. I urge all of us (delegates) to give him (Amaechi) the support because I know he does not lie. I know you’re very capable, you are a man of your words,” he said.
Amaechi was accompanied by high profile dignitaries and associates, including former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Yusuf Tukur Buratai, former Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, Senators, among others.