By KIKELOMO IWAJOMO
The immediate past governor of Rivers State Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has just been screened by the Senate following his nomination as minister. Shortly after the Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki acknowledged receipt of his curriculum vitae, Amaechi was told to highlight his achievements as a former speaker and ex-governor. This led to the question-and-answer session when Amaechi answered questions from the senators.
Earlier the senate minority leader Senator Godswill Akpabio said the PDP senators had resolved not to ask Amaechi questions bordering on the screening, saying they have petitions against the nominee. The Senate Leader, Senate Ali Ndume however opposed the stance of Akpabio and the opposition,saying as a former Speaker and Governor, Amaechi could as well simply bow and go.
On his role as a former chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF), Amaechi said,”‘We refined governance and repositioned leadership under my tenure as Governor.All we did in the Governors Forum was to defend the rights of Nigerians.I find it difficult to do what people want me to do, if it clashes with my principles.Nigerian politicians believe there is need for compromise but not when it clashes with my principles.”
On development in key sectors, Amaechi added that: “I believe there are resources in the Niger-Delta, that is why there is Militancy.If I become the Minister for Niger Delta, the East – West Road will be first to be completed. If you invest in Agriculture & invest in Technology, you will hire as many workers as you can get. In Rivers State we established two farms.We must improve on the Social Rights of the people; if you have peace you’ll have investors.Why people don’t invest in Nigeria is because the cost of investment is higher than the profit’ We must also invest in Education; Some of our youths are unemployable”.
On corruption, he further said: “I have never collected bribe in my life.If they send a girl to you to do something for her and you sleep with the girl, you are corrupt.Corruption is difficult to define. If we keep to the rule of law, allow a Governor to function as a Governor, that will be it.”