25th October, 2014
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers state governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has called on Rivers people and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to resist the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) from manipulating and rigging the 2015 general elections in the state.
Amaechi stated this during the joint graduation of students of University of Ibadan and Pioneer graduands of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education held at Rumuolumeni, in Port Harcourt.
He also expressed fears that if the PDP is allowed to rig and manipulate the election and President Jonathan is voted into office in 2015, poverty and underdevelopment will crumble the state.
According to him, “Now that, you are graduates, you are now eligible voters that can use your voters’ card to change your society. Ask yourselves this question that I have always asked Rivers people. What have we (Rivers people) done to President Jonathan that he has refused to bring any project to Rivers state. We had to fight them before they could do the East-West road. I had to abuse the federal government and they abused me back, before they could do the work you now see on that road.
He reminded the graduates that: “our President, from the South-South presided over the ceding of oil wells from Soku in Rivers state to Bayelsa state and also the 41 oil wells in Etche that was given to Abia state, is the President or his wife from Abia State? Why do they want us to suffer? If President Jonathan comes back to power in 2015, Rivers state economy will crash,” Amaechi said.
The State Chief Executive frowned at the consistent shortfall in oil revenue and the negative impact it has created to frustrate innocent Nigerians and urged the graduands to question the inconsistencies of the federal government.
“Graduands like you have the opportunity to ask the federal government to explain what they are doing with our money. Since September this year, federal government have not been able to pay any state from the federal allocation. They said, they don’t have money. This is the first time that our President is emerging as the 6th richest person in Africa,” Amaechi said.
Amaechi equally tasked the graduands to register as eligible voters ahead of the 2015 general elections.
He further blamed the failure of the Rumuolumeni road construction project to an indigene of the area and described Nyesom Wike, immediate past Minister of State for Education as “incompetent”.
“I told the people of Rumuolumneni that we have awarded N1.5 billion for their internal roads and have also paid the indigenous contractor who is from the area the sum of N700 million. We said, Rivers money for Rivers people, because they don’t have capital. This man took the contract and gave it to a man who now wants to be governor.
“This man that is been backed by Mrs Jonathan gave N250 million to the indigenous contractor and disappeared with N450 million without constructing the road. And this is the man who wants to be governor, with billboards screaming the concept of New Vision. The former Minister of State for Education in a radio interview said, he “shedded tears”. Everyone knows there’s no word like that, “shedded”.
Governor Amaechi also reminded the graduands on the role his administration played to stop militancy in the state and further assured that the Rumuolumeni and Rumpirikon roads will be completed.
“Remember, when I became governor, I fought militancy. Right there where you built a new house, there used to be a hole where they pass into the river as escape route. The security report reached me and I came here and chased the militants away. I asked them to fence the school premises and block that hole. I have to protect you because, it is my responsibility. Some of the militants went to Lagos, Ivory Coast, Ghana etc. Today, they are back because the wife of the President brought them back to protest against me. I refused to give them money in Abuja because, if I do that, I won’t be able to carry out any development project or finish the road from Rumuolumeni to Rumuepirikom.
He stated that the quarrel between him and the wife of the President is because she said I should bring your money, Rivers people money and manage it with her which he (Amaechi) refused.
Amaechi also stated his administration’s commitment to promote teacher education as a veritable tool for educational development.
He argued, however, that achieving quality education would be a mirage if teacher education, as a sub-sector, is not given deserved attention. Indeed, the success of an educational enterprise depends to a large extent on the availability of quality teachers in our schools.
He recalled that before the Ignatius Ajuru University before was upgraded to a University that it was established for the primary purpose of training teachers.