Rich versus poor Nigerians’ division looms, says Amaechi


Former Minister of Transportation and Presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, Rotimi Amaechi, has promised to turn the tide of insecurity and poverty around in the country if elected in 2023.

Amaechi stated this while addressing delegates of the APC in Katsina State, the home state of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) during his consultative visit on Monday.

He said if things don’t change soon, Nigeria may disintegrate to the point where there’s a total divide between the rich and the poor to the detriment of peace and security in the country.

“If Nigeria does not move back to agriculture and move from agriculture to industrial and manufacturing, the breakup you’ll see is the poor versus the rich.

“It will not be Muslims versus Christians or North versus South. It will be the poor versus the rich. So we must build the Nigerian economy to accommodate the poor. If you don’t accommodate the poor, you will run away.

“Have you heard of Songhai farm? Three hundred hectares of Songhai farm, the biggest Songhai farm in the world was built by me. We built hostels for 500 farmers, when we train you and graduate you, we give you money, give you product to go and start your own farm, then we take another 500.

“We began to produce. By the time I left office, the farm was producing money to run itself, no more government money. We created 2000 hectares of Banana farm. We did it partly to create employment. Every day we employed 500 persons.”

On insecurity, Amaechi narrated how he fought militancy and kidnapping to a standstill as Governor of Rivers State, adding, “That’s why anywhere I go (for consultations with delegates) I go with Gen. Buratai (former Chief of Army Staff, who was then Brigade Commander in Rivers State) and former Inspector General of Police, Abba Suleiman, who was Commissioner of Police in Rivers State at the time. Former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar was Air Force commander (in Rivers State at the time). We were bombing them every day until they ran away.”

Amaechi said he had been blessed with leadership qualities over the years and he has performed in every position he has held, noting that his bid to become president is aimed at giving back to the country and the people.

“God has blessed me enough. What I’m doing is giving back. God has made me Speaker for eight years, Governor for eight years, God has blessed me through President Buhari to make me Minister for Transportation. In all of them, I discharged my responsibility.

I don’t listen to people who gossip. When we were to do the Kano-Maradi rail line, I hope you read the newspapers. There’s no name they did not call me, I did not listen, I went ahead with Kano-Maradi because I have two arguments. Are you (the people of Katsina State) not Nigerians? Are they saying the railway should not get to Katsina because you’re not Nigerians? So because you’re Nigerians, you’re entitled to the railway.

“With that same spirit, if I become President, I’ll be President for every Nigerian. I know you have employed me, I am your servant. For women, I don’t believe in 30 percent, you must be given equal opportunities.”

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