Saturday, 31 May 2014
Something Is Wrong With Nigeria---- Governor Rotimi Amaechi
Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers State governor, on Thursday at the 2nd International Conference on Democracy and Good Governance tagged: ‘Nigeria’s Democracy: Issues and Challenges’ said something is wrong with Nigeria.
Speaking on Thursday at the new Dr. Obi Wali Convention Centre in Port Harcourt, the governor, who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the problem with the country, and that they need to be voted out come 2015 general polls.
“Something is wrong with Nigeria, asking participants at the conference: “Do you like Nigeria the way it is now?’ to which the audience responded: ‘No’.
Amaechi then asked another question: “Do you like the way Nigeria is being governed now?” to the audience again chorused: ‘No’.
“Simple, you have one answer; vote out those who have kept us inside this kind of situation, vote them out whether they are from Niger Delta or from Southern Delta or from whatever Delta. We need to vote them out now and change Nigeria. We need to change Nigeria now and that is what APC offers, and that is what I stand for” he said.
“If you are not satisfied the way Nigeria is being governed now, it means that they should not be given another chance. If you are not satisfied that there is corruption and corruption is called ‘common stealing’, if you are not satisfied with that, vote them out. It is not about salaries of National Assembly members or salaries of the Executive.
“In a country where a minister would buy over 1,520 cars and invite the President to come because he wants to give out the cars to his supporters and they sent a representative of the President to be there, how else are we supporting corruption? Why have we not asked the minister, where did you get the money to buy these cars and why was the minister not locked up and sacked from the cabinet?
“A country where a minister travels every time with chartered aircraft every weekend, nobody asks where they get the money, there is impunity on stealing, it is no longer corruption. I agree it is not corruption. We need to vote them out now, all of you are responsible for what is happening to Nigeria and you are responsible because you voted them into power. You are responsible because you are condoning what is happening. Nigerians must rise now” Amaechi said.
The NGF chairman, who lamented the increasing security challenges facing the country, reiterated that it was the responsibility of the government to protect the lives and property of all citizens, pointing out that true democracy is not practised in the country because votes do not yet count.
“The Federal Government has the responsibility to protect your life, to protect the lives of those girls that are in Sambisa Forest. If that fails then the government has failed. Democracy is the right to choose. You should be allowed to choose. They should not bring out the military or police to come and fight you and write results. They should allow the military and the police to stay in their barracks, let us go and vote, let us see who will be our leader, that is democracy, not one that you are compelled to vote or they vote on our behalf” he said.
Amaechi went ahead to condemn the PDP for starting early campaigns ahead 2015 general polls, and described the current administration as a ‘civilian regime’ and not a democratic government.
According to him, Nigerians should brace themselves ahead 2015, and make sure that their votes count.
“So, what I enjoin all of you is to prepare for 2015. All of us must come out en masse and vote out these gentlemen. We must vote them out. They know nothing other than how to steal our money. Those who left us to the other party left us because we refused to share money. If you allow them to take power, they will spend one year stealing money, so we must stop them,” Amaechi said.
He assured the audience that APC is against stealing and other corrupt practices, adding that they would only spend public funds on projects that would change the lives of the people.
“There are 16 APC Governors and there are 18 PDP Governors, in APC states like Lagos and Rivers, see what we have done. We are saying to them, we don’t play to the gallery. The problem of Nigeria is beyond road construction. Most Governors construct roads so that you will clap for them. We think that you need to address education if you must run away from poverty and that is why just as we are addressing education here, Lagos State is addressing education, even our neighbouring Imo State that does not have the kind of money we have” Amaechi said.
“We also think that you need to address agriculture as a way to mitigate poverty. Let PDP come forward and say we are doing the same, let us see. We are open to a debate. So, what we are saying here is that the difference between PDP and APC is that we are progressives. A lot of you can approach me, a lot of you see me drive myself on the street, a lot of you see me stop in restaurants and eat food, an emperor does not do that. PDP is an imperial party. It is a party that is conservative. Some of them don’t know what conservative ideas are. They don’t know what capital is. They don’t know that with capital, they can invest. They think that government can solve all problems” he added.