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HomeRivers State Diary2023: Rivers people are ready to vote for APC

2023: Rivers people are ready to vote for APC

Rt. Hon. Davies: ” Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has made Rivers State proud.”

Rt. Hon. Dr. Sokonte Huttin Davies, is  a two-term Federal House of Representatives member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency.   A former Executive Director Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), he was also ex-Rivers State All Progressives Congress Caretaker Committee Chairman. In this interview with Chukwudi Ejimofor, he is confident that APC will win Rivers State in the 2023 general elections.  This, according to him, is against the backdrop that the present PDP administration in the state has performed abysmally below expectation.  

Do you think that the internal crisis in the Rivers State chapter of the APC will negatively affect the declaration of the Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023?

I thank God that we have a leader in the person of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi CON, who whether you like him or not –  if your are objective  – you will be happy that he has made Rivers state proud, and for some of us who have known him for some time are not surprised because he is somebody who is given to details.  He is somebody whom you can describe as being passionate about improving the living standards of his  people. He is given to serving the people because he is someone who fiercely believes and trusts in God.  The Bible says: how can you say you love God, and you don’t love the man you see. You can see that playing out in him;  that as he loves God, he also displays it through the love for a man and the improvement of their wellbeing. We saw that in the period he was the Speaker of Rivers State house of Assembly, and as Speaker he superintended and ensured that the right laws were enacted in the state. If you saw that Governor Peter Odili did anything worthy to the state, you can also see the signature or the imprint of Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi. This also endeared him to be the chairman of Nigeria Speaker’s Forum. He is the leader of leaders; his peers recognized him to lead them. He became the governor of the state for two tenures and for all the while he was the governor, his brother other governors in Nigeria elected him to be chairman.  Even when powers that be then wanted to scuttle the process for all the governors to make him their leader, it still failed. He was the state governor for two terms and the Chairman of the governor’s forum for two terms. 

While he was governor, himself and some other people saw that the country was going in wrong direction; the affairs of the nation were not properly directed, they joined to form the All Progressives Congress, which produced General Muhammadu Buhari as the President.  Recall that he also served as the Director-General of APC Presidential Campaign Organization. 

To also buttress his leadership quality, he was also appointed as Minister of the most troublesome, intricate or difficult ministry – the  Ministry of Transportation. You and I can also see his performance. As the minister he has displayed and deployed the capacities in him to the extent that ill-minded people are bent on destroying the things that are done under his ministry, forgetting that it is the ministry of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  Whatever he is doing is for Nigerians. The same way they didn’t want to develop the Port Harcourt International Airport when he was the governor of Rivers state. This how people are trying to rubbish the things he is doing. But God in his infinite mercies has used those instances to project him further, this has made Rotimi Amaechi to be seen in his true colours.

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Am not surprised while it’s like that; if you understand his name, from his first name to his surname, you can always see the imprimatur  of God.   CHIBUIKE God is the most powerful, ROTIMI God is with me, AMAECHI who knows tomorrow. You see that the man lives with the full meanings of the components of names he bears. I see the endorsement of God in his life, and I believe that these have not been lost in him.

Note that Amaechi did not stand up to say I want to be President. People saw these qualities in him, people saw the history of his life, people saw the dedication, the transparency and the openness in him. Sometimes, he expresses the openness when people say he is stubborn, arrogant or he is pompous. If you say he is stubborn in the sense that he does not accept mediocrity.   I can say that Amaechi is impatient with mediocrity, and I think that some of us are like that too.

If  we talk of whether Rivers state APC is supporting him or not for his presidential ambition, I  will say that I do not know those who are not supporting him. I can’t rule out the fact that in life  some people will not like him, which is human. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that such people are extremely an infinitesimal minority, they very few. For anyone to say there are issues in APC Rivers state, yes in every human organization we have issues. In the families we have issues. Its going to be really utopian or an eldorado for everyone to agree with him in every thing he doe

 What are the chances that  the Rivers State APC will take over power in the state in 2023? 

 If you live and work in Rivers State you will hear people say they are not happy with APC because we denied them the opportunity to present to them an alternative platform of choice. And they have a genuine fear that it will happen again. That expression is not because APC is in trouble. This time around some people have tried to play out that again by going to court, but the court in its wisdom rejected their arguments.

So that gives an understanding that those things that played out in 2018 leading to 2019 elections will not repeat itself again. If you go through records since June that I  became caretaker committee chairman of APC in Rivers state till today, APC in the state has not lost any case in the court, because we stand on justice, equity, inclusiveness and transparency. We have done the congresses from ward, LGA and state levels and we have also gone to the national convention, there is nothing we have been denied.

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So, I don’t know how anybody could say that APC in Rivers state has crisis. The chances of APC Rivers come 2023 general elections are bright.  We have the right complement of personnel to contest the general elections at various levels. Those of us who have indicated the desire to run for the governorship  have shown that we are capable of providing governance for Rivers people better than the present leadership.

We are poised, we are ready to contest the election competitively, and we are certain that Rivers people will give us their mandate.  During the Amaechi administration, we did show how to govern, and Rivers people are yearning for it again. If you go to the state Secretariat you can hear from Civil Servants. You will hear their lamentations, their pains and their desire for a change. That change we promised them, that change we will give to them.

The Rivers people have seen the capacity of the ruling PDP  in governance.  They are aware of the debt burden, the infrastructural development and how the people are fairing? What is your take on all that?

Well, it’s good that people are seeing and observing the type of capacity they are showing, and Rivers people are fed up with that capacity. It’s also sad you are owing close to three hundred billion Naira, and there is nothing to show for it.   Irrespective of the fact that you are receiving the highest amount of allocation from the federal government, you are not doing better than other states who are using their meagre resources well from their internally generated revenue (IGR).

We can not see how they have expended the trillions of Naira that came their way. We are not coming to bore Rivers people with all those challenges, we are coming to show Rivers people how why should build confidence in governance, because  today, the governance in Rivers state is very low and very negative. We will try to reverse that tide and take away their fear, and  let them understand that building of schools to international standard is possible. We did  that during Amaechi’s administration, but those schools have now been abandoned. We will let Rivers people understand that we shall resuscitate all the abandoned health centers and equip them. We will ensure that enough staffers are engaged in the schools and the health centers. All those things that are unethical in governance, we shall make sure that they are eliminated.

It is unfortunate that companies are folding up in a state like Rivers state.   Go to Trans Amandi Industrial Area, and you will find out that it’s no longer business as usual. We are going to recreate the enabling  economic and security environment for people to come and invest.

Why the government of the day in  Rivers is not doing anything about insecurity is because the administration used those criminals to access power and after accessing power they abandoned them. So, the people resorted to criminality. The state governor does not have clean hands, and, therefore, he cannot tackle the issue of security equitably. When we come we will let Rivers people know that the state can not accommodate security and insecurity together, one must give way.

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What is your take on the road infrastructure vis-à-vis the urban renewal programme, and projects in the state?

Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotime Amaechi – APC presidential aspirant

I can tell you free of charge there is no urban renewal in the state. What the present administration in Rivers state has done is they resurfaced the roads already built by Amaechi administration. Now you built four or five bridges on a road that is less than thirty kilometers. Let me tell you, the roads in Port Harcourt township are in a terrible state. Port Harcourt township is like olden days village. Port Harcourt is no longer Garden city, but garbage city.

Someone is called Mr. Project; what are the projects you are doing? What are their economic values? You went and burnt down the plantain plantation, now you want to buy it over. You went and closed up where people were employed that was generating revenues and engaging Rivers people!

Can you comment on the gas turbine saga under former Governor Chibuike Amaechi,  and the stance of the present administration on the project?

The present governor of Rivers state is bereft of ideas on good governance. He is working on the psyche of a lot of people. And they believe him. He likes media trial of cases, without facing the facts. If the present governor of the state sees that the minister of Transportation is culpable in anywhere he should go to court! The former governor Chibuike Amaechi does not have immunity like the governor has immunity now,  so he can take him to court.

Since Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was sworn-in, he has engaged in politics, he never engaged in governance, and to him politics is rhetoric and razzmatazz, but that is not politics, that is incompetence. Politics is a process in which people get to positions, and they begin to provide services and governance to people. Gov. Wike should stop this his infantile attitudes of engaging in media trials, which is not addressing Rivers people.

 What is your ambition come 2023?

Well, this conversion is not about my political ambition come 2023. I tell you, some of us (not just one person) have decided we can not allow this mess to continue in Rivers state. It not a do- or-die matter.  We believe that we have the minimum capacity to perform better than what the present governor is doing, and as  a result ,  some people have indicated interest to run for governor come 2023. But we believe that the process will be done in such an amicable manner where one person will emerge and give proper direction on governance and government in Rivers state, so that Rivers will return to its original status.

What’s your message to your supporters, members of APC and Rivers people?

My message to Rivers people is that when there is life there is hope. And they know that this regime of misrule, inordinate ambition and misdirected priorities has a very short while to leave. By the grace of God, this time next year they will be preparing to leave for the change of regime which will usher in a period of  rapid, massive and all inclusive programme of development and improvement of life and living standard in Rivers state to emerge, such that other people will quickly relocate, leave and do business in Rivers state.



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