Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said he was misrepresented in a widely circulated story culled from the interview he had with Daily Trust which was published in the print edition of Sunday, August 29, 2021, and online
In the interview with the headline, ‘Presidency: I have no plan for 2023 – Amaechi’, the Minister responded to a question on the legacy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s-led administration after over six years in power, saying the administration has succeeded in curbing impunity and corruption.
“The first legacy, as a former chairman of the Governors Forum, I want Nigerians to be honest; can you openly take money in this government? I am not saying whether we are corrupt or not. Let us assume we are corrupt; can you openly take money in this government? In the past governments, what happened? You can take money in the streets. Corruption was so pervasive that nobody was talking about it. It was not hidden that people completely and openly displayed their wealth. Most of those who did that had nothing to do to show for it. They did not have a carpentry shop, but they were billionaires. They did not hide it; but here, if you are stealing, it is done quietly. I am not saying it is good, it is a sin punishable. In the previous government, you could steal and you won’t be caught. If you were caught, there won’t be consequences. But in this government, if you steal there are consequences,” the minister said.
His answer which was used for a story captioned ‘Stealing done quietly under this government’ on Daily Trust digital platforms and other outlets generated controversy.
Speaking to Daily Trust on the phone, Amaechi expressed displeasure that what he actually said in the interview was misrepresented. In the exclusive interview, the former Rivers State governor defended the Buhari-led administration vigorously, saying that unlike the previous governments, the president has brought sanity into government by fighting corruption without fear or favour.