Rotimi Amaechi, minister for transportation, says the south-south region of Nigeria cannot intimidate the rest of the country.
Speaking at a town hall meeting held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, on Monday, Amaechi said the south-south is not a country on its own but a subset of Nigeria, which could not be doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
“It is part of a nation called Nigeria. You cannot continue to shoot against yourselves and think you will survive,” he said.
“You cannot continue to do the things you are doing and expect a different result. You cannot intimidate Nigerians. Don’t forget I was governor; I was never intimidated in Rivers state.
“So if we are fighting a cause, can we now sit down and know what that cause is, who will be the beneficiary, what we did when we had the opportunity to make decisions? Now you are saying, ‘Ask them.’”
TIME TO END THE BLAME GAME
Amaechi added: “It’s time to move forward. If we start the blame game, we would do it for four years and we wouldn’t have done anything and people don’t care about the blame game anymore.
“The reason why you voted for us is the reason why you are blaming the other people. Having voted for us, it means you heard us when we were campaigning that these people have failed and failed us.
“In fact I was very excited when your governor made his speech; I said this is a new convert. Now I can hear your governor say a similar thing. He’s using a different word. He is saying we want development.
“If we don’t give you development, next time, don’t vote for us. What development do we want to give you from my ministry? One of my offence in the south-south was that there we have no roads; this east west road was not constructed.
“When Orubebe attacked me here in Akwa Ibom, I replied by showing them the photograph of east west road and I showed them the flyovers I constructed across east west road anywhere the rivers flow I put a flyover across and I said facts speaks for them and the President called me and said Amaechi stop stop stop.
“He borrowed 100bn and started, he hasn’t finished it. Now it is your turn, the minister of Niger Delta. If you don’t complete it, God bless you.”
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N2.3TRN SPENT ON NON-EXISTENT CALABAR-LAGOS RAIL
“I met on my table a contract awarded for nearly $12 billion and not implemented. That contract was called the Lagos-Calabar railway.
“I know that is what you want to hear and I must thank the minister of national planning, when others were running around and saying no money no money, between the minister of national planning and budget plus myself, minister of finance and the president, we have agreed that we would do both Lagos-Calabar and Lagos-Kano railway.
“We are proceeding with Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar. This year, we will commence with Lagos-Kano and then we’ll start with Lagos-Ibadan. Between this year and early next year, we will start with Calabar to Akwa Ibom.
“The idea is not only because we want to drive up the economy of the south-south people but we also want to convey passengers and goods from Calabar to Uyo so that once the roads are bad, passengers can use other means of transportation. That is our vision for the next two to three years.”