For allegedly refusing to spend N13 billion on the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in the Niger Delta region, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has been described as a traitor to people of his South-south region “who gave him the quota opportunity to serve as a cabinet member of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.”
The affront against the minister was made yesterday in a statement issued by former media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, who further alleged that Amaechi’s refusal to commit to the establishment of the university was even to the amazement of a fellow Niger Deltan Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, also a member of his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Amaechi is a minister today because of the Niger Delta. He was nominated as a minister to represent Rivers State in the Executive Council of the federal government. By his actions, it is safe to say that Amaechi is a traitor to his people!” Omokri noted.
Omokri, however, lamented that Amaechi, who felt that N13 billion was too much to be spent on the Niger Delta, justified citing an N18 billion on the so-called Transport University in President Buhari’s village of Daura.
He asked: “How can ?18 billion to build a university in Buhari’s village be justifiable but ?13 billion for the goose that lays the golden egg is not?
“Amaechi said ‘there was nothing special about building the university in the president’s hometown since Daura is also part of Nigeria’, but what of the Niger Delta? Is the Niger Delta not part of Nigeria?”
According to the statement, Reno stated that on June 14, 2016, Amaechi, publicly refused to spend ?13 billion on the Maritime University in the Niger Delta, “where 90 percent of Nigeria‘s foreign earning comes from.
“On that day, Amaechi, who was speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, defended the decision of the Buhari administration to scrap the project which is critical for his own people in the Niger Delta, and while responding to a question on the matter, Amaechi said: ‘If you give me N13 billion, I will buy the half of Lagos’.”
The former aide to President Jonathan noted that it took the intervention of Kachikwu for sanity to prevail on the day Amaechi condemned the building of Maritime University in the Niger Delta.
“Visibly offended by Amaechi’s statements, Kachikwu retorted ‘let me say on Okerenkoko University, I disagree with the Minister of Transport. Any facility that is located in the South-south we should work close to developing it. I don’t care the circumstances under which you are placed’.
“However, kudos must go the way of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Kachikwu, who stood up for the truth when it counted.
“Unsurprisingly, it was after speaking up for the Niger Delta that Kachikwu was consequently sidelined in his ministry with President Buhari giving the real power in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the corporation Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, his fellow northerner, promoting Kachikwu’s famous leaked memo,” Omokri alleged in the statement.