Rotimi AmaechiA Northern leader in the South South and Chieftain of Amaechi Volunteers Group, Alhaji Abdullahi Usman, has condemned in strong terms the comments by a purported Chieftain of Arewa Community in the South-South Alhaji Musa Saidu, describing the Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi as pretending to love the North. Usman said the concocted story and comments by the self proclaimed Arewa leader, published by The Nation Newspapers should be ignored as the claims are totally false and poorly fabricated in a failed attempt to whittle down the support enjoyed by Amaechi in the North.

Reacting to the allegation by the so called Saidu that Northerners did not benefit from Amaechi’s leadership during his time as Governor of Rivers State, Usman condemned the claims, noting that the ill-conceived story was written out of ignorance and scorn for the former Rivers Governor.

He maintained that it was a well known fact that between 2007 to 2015 when Amaechi held sway as Governor of Rivers State, he brought about total inclusiveness to governance irrespective of tribe and religion. He noted that as Governor, Amaechi provided 13,000 teaching jobs in the State, out of which 3,000 were given to non indigenes including Notherners.

According to him, “It is most unfortunate to hear Saidu make such unsavory statements about the Transportation Minister even when Alhaji Saidu’s brother by name Abubakar and other Northern youths benefited immensely from Amaechi’s recruitment of teachers, all of whom enjoyed improved welfare, training and re-training, with loan provisions for cars to all teachers.

“As a Northern leader residing in Rivers State, I will not not fold my arms and watch him or any ill-informed person make such derogatory statements against Amaechi, because it is a well known fact that many of us benefited from his policies as governor which accommodated all non-indigenes in the State at the time. Our children benefitted from his (Amaechi’s) free education programme in the new model primary and secondary schools he built across the State.

“We are also aware that Northerners and other non indegenes benefited from contracts awarded to local contractors in Rivers state during Amaechi’s time as Governor. Amaechi represents hope and unity, he is a Pan Nigerian. He does not segregate when it comes to governance and quality service delivery. So, to think that such remarks could come from a so called Arewa leader is totally disgusting and has no basis.

“Was Alhaji Saidu not in Rivers State when Amaechi cancelled the disparity in school fees for indigenes and non-indigenes at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, now Rivers State University? Was Alhaji Saidu not there in Rivers State when Amaechi directed the Vice Chancellor to stop segregating payment of fees between the non indigenes and indigenes and pegged it at a flat rate for all and Sundry? Would Alhaji Musa claim that at the time Amaechi reversed that payment that Notherners were not schooling at the State University?

“Again, to think that Amaechi hates the North is not only misleading but laughable and mischievous. Nigerians cannot be deceived any longer. Nigerians cannot be hoodwinked into Musa’s lies and falsehood,” Usman stated.

The Northern leader and APC chieftain also described as fallacious Musa’s statement alleging that Amaechi as Governor demolished mosques in the city of Port Harcourt. He said, it is on record that Amaechi sponsored Muslims to Hajj on a yearly basis and provided a safe environment for Muslims to worship in their mosques in all parts of Rivers State.

“Let’s even assume that Musa forgot about the good deeds of Amaechi to Northerners during his era as Governor, would he also forget so soon the Abuja-Kaduna rail project ? Even though that project was started by the Jonathan’s administration, it was completed by the present government of Muhammadu Buhari, and it was the Transportation Minister Amaechi that ensured the supervision and completion of that project. Is Kaduna not a State in the North? There is the Transportation University nearing completion in Daura, Katsina State. Is katsina State not in the North? There is the Kano-Maradi railway project . We can go on and on to mention the projects and good deeds of Amaechi to the North. How can anyone say that a man who has brought all these developments to us hates us?” He queried.

Usman therefore called on Nigerians and all Notherners to jettison what he called, ‘Musa’s imaginary thoughts and senseless comments on Amaechi’ and urged Northerners to rally support for Amaechi, whom he described as “Option A” for next year’s Presidential election. He said Amaechi is the only one out of all the aspirants that would ensure Nigeria’s unity and fast-track development at all levels if elected Nigeria’s President, and the North can be sure of more projects, as Amaechi will not only unite Nigeria, but will provide all-round good governance.

Usman while reminding the Arewa leader that the country requires a workaholic like Amaechi to ensure interconnectivity of the rail projects already started in most parts of the country, called on all Arewa people and respected Northern leaders to call the supposed Alhaji Saidu to order, and insisted that he desist henceforth from telling lies to Nigerians. “He should stop the cheap blackmail on Amaechi, his lies are dead on arrival.

“We understand that Amaechi may not be his preferred choice for the 2023 Presidential election, but that does not take away the fact that Amaechi’s antecedents speaks volumes. It does not take away the fact that of all the Presidential aspirants in both APC and PDP, Amaechi stands a better chance at winning the Presidential election due to his doggedness and dedication in championing development in the country.”

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