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Amaechi, the man who says does not like money want to be Nigerian next president

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By Oludare Mayowa

Ex-Rivers state Governor and current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has thrown his hat on the rig to seek his party’s, the All Progressive Congress (APC) ticket to contest the next presidential election and subsequently become the country’s president next year.

Amaechi, who is well known for his refrains that ‘he does not like money’ made the declaration on Saturday in Port Harcourt, the capital city of a state he governed for eight.

Amaechi, who had also served as the speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly for eight years before he became the state governor, had told a television station in an interview in 2017 that he is one of the “very few” honest Nigerians.

“I have told Nigerians and I repeat today that I am not corrupt and that I don’t like money. I am not one swayed by money.

“I have lived a character that most Nigerians can tell you.

“I try as much as possible not to annoy God by saying I am honest but with all modesty, I am an honest Nigerian, and there are very few honest Nigerians,” the minister of Transportation said five years ago.

On Saturday at an occassion initially tagged thanksgiving for the ruling APC in Port Harcourt, Amaechi declared that; “I stand before you today to declare my intention and submit my application to serve as your next President.”

He said he did not come to this decision lightly. “I have served our nation for the last seven years as Minister of Transportation. For 8 years before that, I served as Governor of Rivers State. In the preceding eight years before that, I was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

“These 23 years of service have equipped me not only with great experience in governance and public service but also compassion for the ordinary citizens of our dear country.    After more than two decades in the public arena, I had wanted to go on holiday and spend more time with my family before charting a new course outside politics.

“But at 56, and a member of the generation born after independence who has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of Nigeria, I am compelled by the urgency of our present challenges to place my experience & proven capacity at the service of the nation at the highest level.

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“Those who know me can testify that I have always been a straight talker. This trait has not always made me popular, but I speak truth with conviction. So, allow me to speak the truth here today,” Amaechi told his audience, consisting of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state and across the country.”

He, however, admitted that the country is facing problems of insecurity, challenges of greater accountability in governance, youth unemployment and the scourge of spiralling poverty.

“These problems are however not the exclusive preserve of Nigeria,” he added.

“I admit that Nigeria’s problems did not begin today. And they will not be solved overnight

But they are not beyond the capacity of our people to solve. Fortunately, that process has already started. There is an ancient proverb that “a society grows great when old men plant trees under whose shade they know they’ll never sit.”

He made reference to claims that the present administration headed by his boss, President Mohammadu Buhari has significantly invested in “infrastructure, human capital development & made reforms that will pay off over time in terms of socio-economic growth and stability.”

To sustain and intensify present efforts at solving our national problems, our democracy must ensure the emergence of a leadership that is equipped with broad experience in governance to ensure stability and continuity.

To sustain our democracy and preserve our unity, we need a steady hand and a passion for success in a nation that remains united to pursue prosperity for all Nigerians.

It is this combination of experience and patriotic passion that I bring to the table. I have been in the political arena for 23 years.

I have served at every level of government – local, state, and federal. I have served both as a political appointee and an elected official. I have served both as an executive – as Governor of Rivers State and as a legislator – as Speaker of the State House of Assembly.

In these capacities, I did not just fill vacant posts. As a Speaker, I managed the legislative process in a difficult transition from military rule. As Governor, I defeated mercantile militancy and restored security. As a minister, I can modestly claim to have justified the trust of Nigerians,” He said.

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