Friday, 22 February 2013

2015 Presidency, 'I Am Qualified to Run'- Amaechi

Gov Amaechi
By Dan Metong-Joseph
Making a clear and unambiguous admission on his reported interest in the Presidencey in 2015, Governoer of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has said he is qualified to contest for the president of Nigeria at the expiration of his term in Brick House, the seat of power in Rivers State.
Governor Amaechi stated this at a citizens’ forum in Port Harcourt to round up the National Good Governance Tour in the state last week Saturday, in reaction to a question linking him to the race as a prospective running mate to a rumoured Northern Presidential aspirant, his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Sule Lamido.

Amaechi said, “If the educational qualification for contesting for the presidency is school certificate, then I am qualified because I have a school certificate. I have a first degree and even a Masters degree.”
Just before his statement to show his capacity to contest the presidency, Amaechi had demonstrated his dislike to entertain the question on his interest in the 2015 elections.

He wanted to keep his post- governorship political ambition to his chest. But he told Nigerians in Port Harcourt that whether he needed to run for the in 2015 or not, was an issue of personal concern, while lamenting that he was being witch-hunted by politicians. click on read more below to continue reading...
According to Gov. Amaechi, “The question is personal. I won’t answer it. I won’t please anybody by denying if I am contesting the presidential election.”
Some political watchers who confided in The Beacon noted the shift from the governor’s previous reactions to questions about the wide spread rumour of his presidential ambition in which he was denying out rightly, his interest in the presidency in 2015.
Amaechi who is a second term governor of Rivers State and chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), had earlier dismissed reports that he has plans to run for Vice n 2015, under the People Democratic Party (PDP).

The report had it that the governor wants to run on a joint ticket with his Jigawa State counterpart, Sule Lamido, s president and vice presidential candidates respectively.
Already, some vehicles the inscription, ‘Lamido for president/Amaechi for Vice president 2015’, bearing the photographs of the two governors have been seen in Kaduna. But, Amaechi described the vehicles and issues surrounding his 2015 ambition as blackmail from his political distracters. He was however non-committal. He declined to confirm or deny his interest in the presidential race.

The governor, who has been under immense political pressure in recent times about this alleged presidential ambition, said he was merely a victim of the activities of the NGF. He explained that the charged political situation around his alleged presidential ambition was attracted by the critical position of NGF to the politics in the Federal Government’s Fuel Subsidy policy. He further accused politicians of mischievously capitalizing on his speculative presidential ambition to nail him because of the roles he had performed as chairman of the forum.

“The actions I take as chairman of the forum are for the Nigerian people and the benefits of Nigerians. The problem I am having is because the forum is in court with federal government over oil subsidy. The money is too much. The governors are saying no! We want to be out of it. We are in court, we are in the Supreme Court and if that does not please anybody, too bad. I am just the chairman of the forum. Those people saying the governors are too powerful are sponsored. The forum is people-oriented. We serve the interest of the masses and we are going to stand by them.” Amaechi said.

Continuing, “No matter how much they sponsor articles in the media, we won’t listen. We can only listen if these things are coming from the people. The moment we hear the peoples’ voice, we will listen. But for now, they are sponsored by the elites and we will not be bothered by it. Have you seen a country where over N2 trillion is spent on oil subsidy in a year? That is wrong. We are in court, it’s that simple! If it is because of that they are saying that I am running for president, I have no apology,” Amaechi stated.

Gov. Amaechi has been accused of being used by some Northern elements to launch consistent attack on Presdident Jonathan, as he allegedly as he allegedly played himself into the North, scheming to be considered as running mate to their presidential candidate.
The body language of President Joanthan, suggesting his interest for a second tenure in office is by no means pleasing to the alleged Amaechi/Northern pact.

Amaechi’s extreme critical stance on the administration of his Niger Delta brother was being held highly by the Northern squad, who are doing everything to take over from Jonathan as president in 2015.
Governor Amaechi, The Beacon learnt, had assured the North of his capability of sponsoring the election if considered as a running mate in 2015 presidential race.

In a heated verbal warfare, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godsday Orubebe, had during his recent inspection tour of the controversial construction work on the East-West road in the Niger Delta described Amaechi as a wasteful, disrespectful and exceedingly over-ambitious person, who had diverted the enormous resources of Rivers State to pursuing his presidential ambition rather than investing it in real development of the state.

The Minister, who was responding to Amaechi’s allegations that the Niger Delta Ministry had failed to deliver any project in the region, further alleged that huge funds were being stolen from the treasury of the state and used in bribing people all over the country in a bid to secure a presidential ticket for Governor Amaechi, come 2015.

According to the minister, “today, he (Amaechi) sees himself as the governor of all governors and he begins to feel that he is even bigger than the president. He must have respect for the president of this country. Let him use the enormous resources of Rivers people to develop Rivers State. Let him not use the resources of Rivers State to bribe people in Nigeria. That must stop. He should know that God is still God.
The Beacon can report that Governor Amaechi had umpteen times denied making any tacit move to play deputy to any presidential candidate for the upcoming election in 2015.

Also a social critic and renowned virologist, Prof. Tam David West, had out rightly dismissed the reports making the rounds that Amaechi is interested in taking the job of vice president as he leaves the Brick House as governor of Rivers State.
Reacting to media speculations that Gov. Amaechi had been anointed by ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo to pair with Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, Prof. West said, “I know that there is a current rumour that Amaechi wants to go to the senate, but forget the non-sense being said about eyeing the vice in which they say his former Chief of staff is pitched against him.”

The one time minister of Petroleum expressed disappointment that Amaechi was, however, not doing well enough to convince Nigerians of his non-involvement in any scheme to run for the presidency.
“On the rumour of Amaechi as vice president to Lamido, my disappointment is that Amaechi has not effectively disassociated himself from that, just like Jonathan very effectively distanced himself from the posters urging him to go for a second term,” West said.

It would, however, be recalled that Amaechi had denied thinking of any political ambition relating to 2015 presidency.
Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, had described the reports as mere imagination of political speculators that has nothing to do with the governor.
Continuing, Mrs. Semenitari said that the information was shocking to the governor, because he has no such political dream for 2015.

“The governor is just focusing on how well to take the Rivers State to a greater height,, and therefore, is not working and will not work with Lamido on any presidential issue in relation to 2015, she said.
Political pundits in the state have said that the governor’s decision to shy away from confirming or denying his interest as put to him at eh forum, was a well oiled strategy meant to apply caution in the face of the many crises arising from the widely rumoured presidential ambition of the governor in order not to be overrun by hi political foes.

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