Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has asked Nigerians to stop distracting him about 2023 politics because he is not a politician.
Amaechi, who served two terms as governor of Rivers State and was also speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly for eight years, said this while responding to questions during an Arise TV Interview on Saturday morning.
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Amaechi said he is preoccupied with delivering on the various railway projects across the country, adding that he could not combine that with politics.
The Minister said even if he has a 2023 ambition, he wouldn’t have started two years to the election because he is not a rich man.
He stated that his moves are often misinterpreted by those he called “mischief makers,” saying his recent visit to Taraba State was strictly for a wedding ceremony but it was termed a campaign visit.
He said, “I want to make sure that we deliver on these projects within the period we are in government. We want to deliver Kano-Maradi.
“It is not going to be easy. I have to really travel from Abuja to Kano, from Kano I have to inspect what they are doing every week to make sure that we deliver it on time.
“I have to deliver Lagos-Calabar because nobody has mentioned it but we are into it. We are working on the funding. Once we get the funding, we would do ground-breaking. I have to deliver that. I have to deliver Port Harcourt-Maiduguri. And don’t forget within the first tenure of our government, we delivered Itakpe to Warri, we delivered Lagos-Ibadan. We completed Kaduna-Abuja started by Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
“I went to Taraba for a wedding. At the end of the wedding, if you see plenty news that was out of Taraba. Mischievously, it was reported that I went to campaign, campaign to do what? The election is about two years plus away, am I that rich even if I have ambition? I have told you, can you people allow me do my work? I am the Minister for Transport and that is my responsibility, nobody should keep talking to me about politics, that was why I said on several occasions that I am not a politician. Please allow me do my work.”
‘I never called Wike drunk’
The former Rivers State Governor, who was also asked on the “back and forth” between him and his predecessor, Governor Nyesom Wike, said he would not want to comment on it.
Wike had described the last week’s ground-breaking of Port Harcourt-Maiduguri narrow gauge reconstruction as politically motivated, fueling the feud between him and Amaechi.
But Amaechi reiterated that he could not bring himself so low to the Governor’s level.
“I have made my point on the issue of the governor, I have moved on. He was my staff, don’t forget that, I can’t bring myself low to him. I was once a governor, I was once a Speaker, I am a Minister, a two-term Chairman of Governors’ Forum. Why would I be discussing things like that? I have told you guys, concentrate on transportation, leave me out of politics.”
‘Lagos-Ibadan rail to be commissioned very soon’
Amaechi said the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge project would soon be completed, noting that the date of commissioning would be known once he secures the President’s commitment to be physically present at the commissioning.
He also said the recent flag-off of Kano-Maradi rail line has nothing to do with politics but the project was driven by the economic benefit, adding that it was a project sanctioned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).