The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has said that 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 after declaring his intention to contest the 2023 presidency.
Reading a letter titled: ‘Forward with courage’ at the Thanksgiving organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Port Harcourt on Saturday, Amaechi said he was qualified to run.
He said he had been in governance for 23 years from being a Speaker for eight years to be a Governor and now Minister.
Amaechi said: “My aspiration is not about fulfilling any personal ambition. I am contesting for the office because I believe that it is my moral duty to give what I can in the service of my country.
“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.
“Today, I stand as an aspirant to the position of President because of that same passion for people; that same drive for results. More than ever before, I am burning with the zeal to make a decisive difference in the lives of all Nigerians.
“I pledge my heart, mind and soul to the task of building a Nigeria in which every child can go to school, every young person can find work or support to start a business, every citizen can travel safely around the country and sleep at night knowing that law and order prevail and every Nigerian feels included, heard, and respected.”
Other leaders of the party such as the Rivers Chairman of APC, Chief Emeka Beke; a governorship aspirant, Dakuku Peterside among others said the APC had been repositioned to succeed the incumbent Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Beke said: “We are here to thank God for the victory he has already given us ahead of time.
“We want to thank God for the success of the Congresses in the state. When we wanted to go for the national convention, the devil wanted to strike, but God protected us. The mandate has returned for us to take part in the 2023 elections and we will be victorious.”
In his for solidarity speech, the Plateau State Governor State, Simon Lalong said: “You know that Amaechi is the Dan Amana Daura, he is somebody we trust. I am also here for Progressives Governor’s Forum.
“This is a small take-off from Rivers State. I am happy today because six years ago we came here and started a campaign that produced a brand new President. That campaign was led by your son, Amaechi.
“When we were told on the television that there was no APC in Rivers State. What we have seen today, many people will not sleep.
“We will not take it by force, we will work with the grace of God. I don’t want to talk too much, because they will say I am his friend. But a friend that is good you will always go with him. This Thanksgiving has vindicated him. Let the will of God”
Adams Oshiomhole, a former National Chairman of APC and former Governor of Edo State, commended Amaechi for the unity and reconciliation in Rivers APC, calling for a stronger bond among the party faithful.
Oshiomhole said: “Let me appreciate the man who has invited us for Thanksgiving and for the reconciliation of the party in the state. I want to appreciate the Minister of Transportation Chibuike Amaechi, who has extended his invitation.
“I am excited that we have united our party in Rivers State. I am here to witness the unity of APC in Rivers State. May God help us to uphold this unity and service and remove bitterness in every heart and position us for victory.”
On his part, Peterside said the APC looked unstoppable in its goal of winning the presidential, governorship and all other elective positions in the state in 2023.
Dakuku said the APC was on the right path of recovery and victory to end what he described as the “sad breast-pocket governance style of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state”.
He said that every indicator for an APC victory in 2023 was positive, adding that recent successes recorded by the party in the state from the ward to the local government and state Congresses, had reinvigorated its membership to a new height in readiness to kick out the ruling party in the state.
He said: “You all have seen the mammoth crowd here which points to a new height in APC’s renewed movement towards ending the breast-pocket governance Rivers people found themselves in since 2015.
“Our people have suffered enough in the hands of Wike and PDP but APC is set to end all of that and reset the state to achieving her full potential. That PDP must go in 2023 is our resolve, and working in harmony, we shall achieve that.
“Today is a statement in the party’s resolve to terminate the wicked regime of Wike and his PDP and in turn entrench good governance and grow our beloved state.”