Chibuike Amaechi the Minister of Transportation has officially declared his intention to run for president in 2023, saying that his ambition was not for personal interest.
The minister, who detailed his aspiration in a letter captioned, “Forward with Courage”, read at the thanksgiving organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Rivers State, on Saturday, noted that he had consulted widely before arriving at the decision.
Amaechi, leader of the party in South-South, noted that he has been in governance for 23 years spanning from being a Speaker of the State House of Assembly for eight years to being a governor and now a minister.
He noted that within the period, he had served as the Chairman of the Council of Speakers of the 36 states of the federation, Chairman of the Governors’ Forum for two terms and then the Director-General of President Muhammadu Buhari for two terms.
Amaechi said he was enriched by the governance system and understands what good leadership meant, stating that he would contribute to the development of the nation.
‘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,’ the minister declared.
‘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.’
In his solidarity speech, the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, who represented the Northern State Governors’ Forum and Progressives Governors’ Forum, said it was misrepresented in the media that Amaechi had no structure in the state.
Governor Lalong stated that APC and the Minister of Transportation had a formidable structure to win any election in the state.
‘You know that Amaechi is the Dan Amana Daura, he is somebody we trust. I am also here for Progressives Governors’ Forum,’ he said.
‘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.
READ ALSO: Amaechi Officially Declares For Presidency
‘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.’
The Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Idris Wase, described Amaechi as a dogged fighter, noting that God used Amaechi to revive the rail system.
‘I want to appreciate party faithful here. We want to thank God. This gathering is all about Nigeria. I want to appreciate my leader, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. He is a dogged fighter,’ Wase said.
‘God has used him as a point of contact to revive the railway system, and by implication the economy of Nigeria.
‘We at the National Assembly will continue to support you to achieve your mandate. This gathering compared to our last convention has a better crowd. With this, we are sure of the taking what is ours.’
The former National Chairman of APC and former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, commended Amaechi for the unity and reconciliation in Rivers APC, calling for a stronger bond among the party faithful.
‘Let me appreciate the man who has invited us for the 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,’ Oshiomhole said.
‘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.”
The Chairman of the APC in Rivers State, Emeka Beke, in his address stated that the mandate of the party has returned.
Beke, who spoke on behalf of the new state executives, said: ‘We are here to thank God for the victory he has already given us ahead of time.
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