Again Buhari express trust in Amaechi, ex-Rivers State governor to head President’s re-election campaign

Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi will head the Buhari-Osinbajo campaign organization a statement by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu revealed on Thursday.

The former Rivers State governor was in charge of the President’s campaign in 2015 and he was instrumental in delivering the mandate that brought about the current administration.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of a campaign organization for his re-election in 2019 with Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as Secretary.

“Hon. Amaechi was the Director General of the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Committee in 2014-2015 that won the elections and brought the current administration into office.

“The new Director-General will announce other appointments into the campaign structure as approved by President Buhari,” Garba Shehu said.

Amaechi will not be task with the responsibility of appointing members of his team and making sure that the president succeed in securing a second term in office.

 

 

 

 

 

Tension!!! Rotimi Amaechi Has A Very Serious Case To Answer – DETAILS

The Rivers State Government, has said that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has a case to answer, over the alleged sale of gas turbine power stations, belonging to the State Government.

The Commissioner for Information in the State, Emma Okah, revealed in a statement, that Amaechi, who was the Governor of the State at the time, sold off the power stations to Sahara Energy, owned by a Billionaire Businessman from the State, Tonye Cole, towards the end of his administration.

Okah added that, the then administration allegedly used the proceeds of N112 billion from the sale, to fund the political activities of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which Amaechi is its Leader in the State.

“The reason for Tonye Dele Cole, is now better explained. There is need to cover the skeletons in the cupboard”, Okah said in the statement.

Mr. Okah insisted that the alleged diversion of the funds, was the reason the Amaechi administration “left many projects uncompleted, and owed salaries and pensions to workers, before he left office in 2015.”

Apart from the power assets, the Commissioner revealed that Sahara Energy also bought the Olympia Hotel, and other high-value State assets, under suspicious circumstances from the administration.

Amaechi’s successor, Governor Nyesom Wike, had set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which indicted Amaechi on the sale of the assets.

“The Justice Omereji Commission of Inquiry, investigated the spurious sales and indicted the Minister of Transport, and instead of refunding the money, the Minister rushed to court to set aside the findings of the Commission. He lost at the High Court, and at the Court of Appeal. His appeal to the Supreme Court has been abandoned, because for over a year, he has failed to file a brief of argument”, Okah said.

The Commissioner also commented on the running battle between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Rivers State Government.

He said that it was “very funny” that Amaechi who is “backing” the EFCC against the State Government today, was the same person who fought against “interference” by the Commission in the affairs of the State, when he (Amaechi) was the Governor.

Okah disclosed: “For the avoidance of doubts, Rivers State Government is not against the fight against corruption. Our case is that there are two perpetual court injunctions restraining the Commission from investigating the finances of Rivers State Government, and until those injunctions are vacated by a Superior Court, the Commission is duty bound in law to respect it, irrespective of how worried the former Governor may feel today.

“The Rivers State Government assures the Transport Minister, that the law has not changed, and the facts remain the same; and so, his collusion with the Commission to harass the Rivers State Government and her officials, will not work.”

‘Buhari has not said people should not steal’ — Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, admitted on Wednesday that corruption was still an issue in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Speaking on the administration’s fight against corruption, Amaechi said, “Buhari has not said people should not steal.

“But when you steal, there is a consequence for stealing. I don’t want to say it has stopped completely but it has reduced”.

The transport minister said this in Abuja during an interactive session with the media on the ministry’s achievements.

He said the Buhari administration has achieved a lot on security, road, fight against corruption, agriculture and transportation, adding that Buhari was tackling herdsmen-related killings.

Amaechi said Nigerians will enjoy 24 hours of power supply if President Buhari is reelected.

“There is an improvement in power. We have moved from 3000 megawatts to 7000 but we are distributing 5000 because some of the infrastructure are not in good state but we are slowly fixing them.

“The expectation is that it should be 24 hours power supply but there will still be a gap but if you give us a second term, that gap will be closed.

“In terms of corruption; this economy was a rent economy. Public money was spent anyhow and it was an economy that was not worked hard for. That is why you see politicians today very rich and one year after leaving government, they are poor.

“They are like that because they don’t know how to manage the money. When Buhari came, he said we could not continue to spend anyhow. Buhari has not said people should not steal.

“But when you steal, there is a consequence for stealing. I don’t want to say it has stopped completely but it has reduced. So if you say Buhari has not done anything on corruption, you are being most unfair.”

He said 2015 budget had only six percent allocated to capital expenditure but the current administration is doing 20 percent.

 

Amaechi said that in the next two to three years, government will allocate up to 30 percent for capital expenditure, if the recurrent expenditure is reduced and wastage is fixed.

“It is also unfair if Nigerians think the ministry of works is not working. The road to Bonny was abandoned after Obasanjo left government, the road was below N39 billion but it is now N120 billion that the federal government wants to do it.

“So, Buhari government is dealing with corruption, building roads, the worst roads in Nigeria used to be between Uyo and Calabar but it has been awarded.

“The road to Enugu too that people are complaining about: contractors are working on the roads already. The work may be slow but they are working. Also the Ilorin-Jebba road has been awarded.

Amaechi also reacted to the Chinese scholarships scandal for the first time.

He and other officials in the government had been accused of diverting rail transport engineering scholarships offered by a Chinese construction firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

The scholarship involved the sponsorship of over 40 Nigerian undergraduate students in Chinese universities to study railway engineering which the company said was part of its CSR.

Speaking on the scandal, he said, “the answer to this thing is simple, CCECC has granted us scholarship, how they got their candidates, ask them. I’ve seen the first batch in China. Instead of asking how we chose the candidates, they should ask us about the policy”.

“The policy is that when they come they build roads. Rivers state government house is still being maintained by Julius Berger, is that good? It’s something that any Nigerian should be able to maintain.

“To maintain that place, Julius Berger comes every day and they are paid every month. The month you don’t pay them, you won’t see them.

“If you allow the railway people go without them providing scholarship, when they finish and they go, when the train breaks down you will see that the workers would be sweating but we are very sure that at the end of the day before the Chinese leaves they must have trained our men to take over this thing and that is what is critical not how we chose the candidates,” he said.

“I think the CCECC complied with the law, they did not break any law.”

Buhari negotiates another $6bn with China for road construction

The Buhari-led Federal Government has revealed that it is currently negotiating a loan of about $6 billion with China Exim Bank for the construction of the Ibadan-Kano railway line. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed this at an interactive session with newsmen, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

According to the minister, “We are currently in negotiations with the China Exim Bank to get about $6bn to do (rail lines) from Ibadan to Kano. It is a difficult decision. Why is it difficult? “The money required is about $8bn to do a double track but the Chinese are insisting that they can’t fund the double track.

“They are asking us to do a single track and they want it at Minna so that instead of going from Minna to Kaduna, we should go from Minna to Abuja and then join it from Abuja to Kaduna.

“But there are those who argue that we should not accept that, rather we should tell them (Chinese) to fund it in segments. This, however, does not make economic sense,” he said.

The former governor of Rivers State equally spoke on the approval for waterways security, noting that $195 million had been approved, expressing confidence that it would help reduce crime in the maritime sector.

Amaechi continued, “The Federal Government has approved the sum of $195m to hire an Israeli company to help train our security personnel to help man our water ways.

“Currently there are criminal activities in our waterways which has made it that in some parts of the country, people charge what they call war insurance. “War insurance means that you go to an area where there is (seems to be) war, but you know that there is no war there.

“But in such areas criminal activities are taking place in the water ways. So, with the approval, after we have put the processes in place, we will ensure that there is security on our waters,” he noted.

Former Rivers State Governor praise Buhari, says Nigerians will enjoy steady power supply after 2019

Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that Nigerians will enjoy 24 hours electricity if President Buhari is re-elected. He insists that the Buhari administration has achieved a lot in security, road, war against corruption and so on.

The minister, who spoke yesterday during an interactive session with the media, said the government was tackling killings associated with herdsmen,

Commenting on why Buhari and the APC government deserved a second term, Amaechi said: “Nigerians have taught me a lesson I learnt in politics and that is why nothing bothers me again. The people praising you today, if you see them when you are out of power, you will be shocked. Those singing hallelujah and hosanna will still be the same people to shout crucify him tomorrow.

“We have done much more than transport. In terms of corruption; this economy was a rent economy. Public money was spent anyhow and it was an economy that was not worked hard for.

“This is why you see politicians today very rich and one year after government, they are poor. They are like that because they don’t know how to manage the money.

“When Buhari came, he said no and that we cannot continue to spend anyhow. Buhari has not said people should not steal; he has rather kept quiet to see who can steal because there is a consequence for stealing.

“I don’t want to say it has stopped completely, but it has reduced. Before, there were many empty houses in Abuja. People were building and speculating that new politicians would come in and buy.

“But we came in, we could not buy because of the economy. So if you say Buhari has not done anything on corruption, you are being most unfair.

“Also, the 2016 budget was six per cent capital, but we are doing 20 per cent capital now. We are doing 80 per cent recurrent and 20 per cent capital. We believe that in the next two to three years, we will get to 30 per cent capital and we will get there if we reduce the current expenditure and deal with wastages.”

He continued: “It is also unfair if Nigerians think the Ministry of Works is not working. The road to Bonny was abandoned after Obasanjo left the government.

“The contract sum for the road was below N39billion, but it is now N120billion. When I was governor, I wrote to the Federal Government under Jonathan that I wanted to do the road for N39billion, but they didn’t reply me.

“My final year as governor, Energy wrote that they would take care of 50 per cent of the bill and I wrote again to the Federal Government, but they didn’t reply because I was in APC. Now that the Federal Government wants to do it, the cost is now N120billion.

“So, Buhari government is dealing with corruption, building roads. The worst road in Nigeria used to be between Uyo and Calabar, but it has been awarded.

“The road to Enugu too that people are complaining about, contractors are working on the road already. The work may be slow, but they are working. When we came, oil was $28 per barrel and our budget was $35 and suddenly it dropped, but the minister of Budget managed it for us to survive.

“Now oil is $74, but we still have not reached $110. If we get to that, things will change rapidly. Also, the Ilorin-Jebba road. Contracts for the construction of many roads have been awarded.

“There is also an improvement in power. We have moved from 3000megawatt to 7000, but we are distributing 5000 because some of the infrastructures are not in good state. But we are fixing them.

“The expectation is that it should be 24 hours power supply, but there will still be a gap. But if you give us a second term, that gap will be closed.”

On insecurity, he said: “There is improvement in security. When the President promised security; he was looking at Boko Haram.  Boko Haram no longer have the power that they had then.

Before we came, the situation was worse, churches were not safe, but now you can go to church freely and nearly all the security agencies that had special protection have reduced their protection gates because fears have reduced.

“The threats, which used to envelope the North, have reduced and we are addressing the ones in Borno, unlike before where they would overrun villages and hoist their flags and say they owned the villages.

“If you ask of our achievement, I think many people can attest to what we have done. People no longer go through rigorous searches before entering public places.”

Amaechi, Akpabio, Oshiomhole and Okorocha: Who’s The Lion Of Niger Delta

With the entry of former Senate Minority Leader and ex Governor of Akwa Ibom State Obong Godswill Akpabio into All Progressive Congress-APC and the election of former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of All Progressive Congress-APC, there is confusion now among followers and party loyalists about who among the serving Minister of Transportation Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Obong Godswill Akpabio, Adams Oshiomhole and the only APC Governor in South-East Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha should be properly addressed as the “Lion of Niger Delta” a political name tag that has been ascribed to Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in 2013 prior to the 2015 general election.

The serving Minister of Transportation as Director General Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organization solidified this political name tag “The Lion of Niger Delta” as he fought a Niger Delta son, President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Peoples Democratic Party-PDP until he lost election on the 28th of March, 2015 and conceded defeat in a telephone conversation to President Muhammadu Buhari exactly at 5pm on the Presidential Election Result Collation center FCT Abuja.

 

Since that time with Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s political office as Minister for Transportation, he assumed the position of leader of All Progressive Congress-APC in South-South, irrespective of the fact that Edo State is the only State out of the Six States in the South-South geo-political zone that won governorship election with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as executive Governor.

 

The Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, comes from South-East geo-political zone but his state shares some kind of political developmental affiliations including Niger Delta Development Commission-NDDC. Again, Imo State is the only state in the South East geo-political zone that won the Governorship election under the platform of All Progressive Congress-APC. Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s political sagacity and bravado and his oratorical speech elocution coupled with his position as a sitting Governor of Ndi-Igbo coming into the APC family and as the Chairman of APC Governor’s Forum, make him more visible political to claim the political name tag of “The Lion of Niger Delta Politics”  currently being enjoyed by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

Wednesday, 8th of August, 2018 marked a new beginning in the life of the former Senator Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State Obong Godswill Akpabio as he formally declared for All Progressive Congress-APC in his home town Uyo through defection from PDP to APC.

He resigned from being the Senate Deputy Minority Leader on the 4th August, 2018 while getting his papers properly documented at his Essien Udim home town in Akwa Ibom State. His political influence and political control in the South-South is like earth quake with every high magnitude. As a sitting governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015, Obong Godswill Akpabio had one of the highest monetary allocations from the Federation Account sharing unit in the country. And he controlled 31-Local Government Areas with oil and gas accruement of 13 percent in both being a littoral oil producing state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

With the on-going debate of who is the “Lion of Niger Delta Politics”  raging on, the foursome of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, ex-Governor of Edo State and current National Chairman of APC Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha and Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and former Senate Minority Leader, Obong Godswill Akpabio are all jostling for Political Leadership of APC in South-South and South-East geo-political zones of the Federation.

After the excitement of Obong Godswill Akpabio’s defection to APC must have died down, the next battle will be who among them should control APC in the South-South geo-political zone no-minding the political hierarchy in All Progressive Congress-APC as the zone has a National Party Chairman, a Director  General of Presidential Campaign Organization and Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha’s per chant of dominating political space when it comes to national politics remains one of the highlights of the expectations to come in the days ahead of February 2019 Presidential elections.

 

2019: Meet 8 ‘Corrupt Politicians’ Working For Buhari’s Re-election

At least eight out of the many Politicians working for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2019, have pending corruption cases against them, a latest investigation has shown.

The investigation showed that the amount involved in the various graft cases, which are currently pending before Security Agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, range from N223 million to N100 billion, for each of the Politician.

Some of the eight Politicians, who used to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other opposition parties, had allegedly defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to stop the dangling axe of the EFCC and other Security Agencies, from falling on them.

Specifically, the Politicians who are currently either under probe or prosecution, for allegedly diverting government funds, have separately vowed to ensure that Buhari remains in power, until 2023.

The eight Politicians include: the Senator representing Nasarawa West at the National Assembly, Abdullahi Adamu; the Senator representing Sokoto North and former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko; ex-Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, who recently defected from the PDP to the APC; and a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.

Others are: the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; the former Governor of Rivers State and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, in 2015, Rotimi Amaechi; the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari; and former National Chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff.

Abdullahi Adamu

 

Adamu, a serving Senator and former Governor of Nasarawa State, is one of the President’s close Allies in the Senate. He is also a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Buhari 2019 Presidential Support Committee.

The Lawmaker is being prosecuted alongside 18 others, for allegedly stealing N15 billion from the State treasury, through contracts awarded when he was Governor for eight years.

Aliyu Wamakko

Senator Aliyu Wamakko is in charge of Buhari’s campaign in Sokoto State. A few weeks ago, he held a massive rally on behalf of Buhari, in order to prove to the President that Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s defection, would be of no effect in the State.

Wamakko, who served as Governor from 2007 to 2015, is under investigation over allegations of theft of public funds and money laundering, totalling N15 billion, an allegation he has vehemently denied.

The Spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had confirmed in April, that the Commission was investigating allegations contained in a petition against Wammako, and that he would soon be invited to defend the allegations.

Godswill Akpabio

The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, has been under probe by the EFCC for over three years, based on allegations that he diverted over N100 billion from the coffers of the State, between 2007 and 2015.

Akpabio was welcomed into the APC by the President himself.

The former Governor, who represents Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, recently vowed that the APC would take over Akwa Ibom State, the way Adolph Hitler invaded Poland.

Akpabio, who on Friday travelled to China with the President, is arguably the closest defector to Buhari, and has vowed to do everything possible to ensure Buhari is re-elected, come 2019.

Although he has been grilled by the EFCC, he has not been charged.

Orji Uzor Kalu

Kalu, who governed Abia State from 1999 to 2007, was one of the most influential Politicians in the South-East during his time in government. After leaving the PDP, he formed the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, from where he contested and lost a Senatorial election, in 2015.

The following year, he defected to the APC, and has paid several visits to the President since then.

Recently, he visited the President in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, where he was bestowed with the title, ‘Dan Baiwan Hausa’, by the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq.

According to the Emir, Kalu was bestowed with the title in appreciation of his “unwavering support for our son, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Bayajida II.”

The EFCC, had alleged that Kalu and the others, committed fraud, between August 2001 and October 2005. It accused Kalu of utilising his company (Slok Nigeria Limited) to retain in the account of First Inland Bank, now First City Monument Bank, the sum of N200 million.

The Commission, stated that the sum formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State Government. The EFCC also said that the accused retained in different bank accounts, about N2.5 billion, belonging to the State Government, adding that, he diverted about N3.2 billion from the coffers of the same government.

Regardless of his travails, the former Governor has insisted that he will do all within his power, to ensure that Buhari is re-elected, in 2019.

Babachir Lawal

The immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, was accused by the Senate ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East, led by Senator Shehu Sani, of awarding a N223 million consultancy contract for the removal of invasive plant species in Komadugu, Yobe Water Channels, to his company, Rholavision Engineering, in contravention of section 43 (iii) and (iv) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

A Committee headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, subsequently investigated Lawal and recommended his dismissal, in October 2017, a year after he was indicted by the Senate.

Although, he is under probe by the EFCC, Babachir is among the key figures running Buhari’s re-election campaign in Adamawa State. He also revealed during a recent interview on Channels Television, that he still has direct access to the President, a revelation which shocked many Nigerians.

Rotimi Amaechi

Amaechi, who was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, in 2015, has been charged with the task of ensuring that Buhari is elected a second time.

The Minister of Transportation, who is the face of the Buhari Campaign, was indicted by the Justice George Omeregi-led Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry, set up to investigate the sale of State assets in Rivers State.

He and others were accused of allegedly misappropriating N97 billion, through the sale of the State valued assets.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had also alleged that $150 million was spent on Buhari’s Campaign, in 2015.

Nonetheless, Amaechi challenged his indictment, but lost at the Court of Appeal.

Although anti-graft agencies have refused to state if he is under investigation or not, he is yet to clear his name, and is still under investigation by the State Government.

Abdul’Aziz Yari

 

Yari has been engaged in a fierce battle with the EFCC, for over a year, following allegations that he diverted nearly N700 million, which formed part of the Paris Club refund, due to his State.

In July last year, a Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of N500 million and $500,000, said to have been looted from the Paris Club refund made by the Federal Government, in favour of the 36 States of the Federation.

The sums of money said to have been recovered from two firms, First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, and Gosh Projects Limited, were allegedly linked to the Governor.

The EFCC, also alleged in an affidavit filed in support of its exparte application seeking the interim forfeiture of the sums of money, that the N500 million was diverted to offset Yari’s personal loan, obtained from First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited.

Ali Modu-Sheriff

In July, the Presidential Support Committee of Buhari 2019, appointed Sheriff as its Director-General.

The National Secretary of the group, Kassim Kassim, said in a statement, that the conglomerate of about 300 Buhari supporters’ groups, unanimously endorsed Sheriff to lead the Presidential Support Committee, Buhari 2019, and not the Buhari Campaign Organisation for the 2019 election.

He stated that groups that made up the Presidential Support Committee, were all registered with the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters.

However, Sheriff and others, are under investigation for allegedly receiving N450 million, out of the N23 billion bribe, allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the build-up to the 2015 elections.

He has been grilled several times by the EFCC, but was never charged. His private jet was also impounded by the Commission, but later released to him.