Nigerians ‘Attack’ Rotimi Amaechi In Spain

Amaechi Describes Claim Of Appointing Governorship Candidate As Mischievous

 

Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has said that he was attacked by some Nigerians in Spain. 

The minister revealed this via a statement on his Twitter page.

In his tweet, Mr. Amaechi said, “Some minutes ago, I was attacked by a few misguided Nigerians while on national assignment at a climate change event in Madrid, Spain”.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: IPOB Members Attack Ekweremadu In Germany

According to his tweet, the assailants were quickly repelled by the Spanish police before they could do any harm.

He noted that he is doing fine, adding that he was not hurt.

Buhari, Amaechi And The Ministers Who Retained Their Portfolios

 

President Muhammadu Buhari, and a couple others on Wednesday retained their portfolios as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

The President retained his position as minister for petroleum, while Alhaji Lai Mohammed retained his portfolio minister of information and culture.

Others who retained their position in President Buhari’s cabinet include:

READ ALSO: Buhari Assigns Portfolios To Ministers (FULL LIST)

Adamu Adamu (Education)

Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs)

Hadi Sirika (Aviation)

Abubakar Malami (Justice)

Lai Mohammed (Information)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport)

Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technology).

*Mr Babatunde Fashola can however be said to have partially retained his ministry, as his portfolio was split into two. The former Lagos state governor who previously was head of Works, Power and Housing, now only mans the ministry of Works and Housing.

Declare Nyesom Wike Duly Re-Elected, Rivers Women Charge INEC

 

 

Rivers Women from the 23 Local Government Areas of the state have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to conclude the Collation Process for the Governorship election and declare Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike duly re-elected.

They also demanded that the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Rivers State, Obo Effanga be allowed to conclude the Collation Process, since he conducted the 2019 General Elections.

The Rivers Women were mostly dressed in White to signify peace and their commitment to the peaceful conclusion of the 2019 General Elections.

They embarked on a peaceful March to the State Headquarters of the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) warned the Nigerian Army to stop forthwith the Intimidation of the Rivers people.

The women who were in their thousands held placards with the following inscriptions: “Amaechi you cannot be Governor for a third term “, “Nigerian Army should stop intimidating Rivers people”, “Leave Rivers REC Alone” and “INEC must conclude Collation of Rivers Governorship Election results “.

READ ALSO: Court Upholds Fayemi’s Election, Dismisses PDP’s Appeal

They stated that they overwhelmingly voted for Governor Wike across the state and in most cases they stayed at the Collation Centres to defend their votes, despite the threats by some security personnel and hoodlums.

Leader of Rivers Women, Mrs Ukel Oyaghiri said that the process of Collation and Declaration of Results must be concluded as unnecessary delay is no longer appreciated.

“We want our results to be declared . We don’t want further delays . The state is at a standstill because of the non release of our results. This delay is becoming dangerous.

“The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Obo Effanga should be allowed to conclude the Collation process. He was the one who conducted the elections. This is a process that should be concluded by him,” Oyaghiri said.

She urged the police to stand with the people by joining them to defend the votes of Rivers people. She said said that the votes of Rivers people must count and there should be no further delay.

A Rivers Women Leader, Chinyeru Agbaru also noted that all results in the custody of INEC should be collated and declared.

She stated that there is no reason for the Resident Electoral Commissioner to be redeployed as being canvassed by the APC in Rivers State.

Also speaking, Women Leader of Rivers PDP, Mrs Victoria Allison appreciated the police for their interventions while the governorship election and collation got underway on March 10.

She said that Rivers Women were dressed in white to show that they support the peaceful conclusion of the 2019 General Election adding that Rivers State successfully held the Governorship election and the votes of the people must count.

A Female Youth Leader, Soibi Ibibo Jack said that Governor Wike has won the election and should be declared winner by INEC.

She warned the police against disrupting the Governorship Collation exercise as currently being rumoured. Jack said that the police are under obligation to be neutral.

Jack said that those calling for this transfer of the Resident Electoral Commissioner are doing so because he refused to be compromised. She said he should be allowed to complete the Collation.

Responding on behalf of the Rivers State Police Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Betty Otimeye said the message of Rivers women will be passed to the appropriate authorities for action to be taken.

At the DSS Headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers women said that they demand rests on the declaration of all collated results within scheduled period.

INEC Suspends Electoral Process In Rivers

Rivers APC Crisis: We Are Only Demanding A Right To Compete, Says Party  

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the suspension of all electoral processes in Rivers State.

In a statement by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, INEC explained that it took the decision following reports of disruption of Saturday’s elections in the state.

“Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has determined that there has been widespread disruption of elections conducted on the 9th day of March 2019 in Rivers State,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Police, Army Clash At Rivers INEC Office

He added, “These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres. Staff have been taken hostage and materials including results sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorized persons.

While expressing concern over the safety of INEC staff which, according to him, “appears to be in jeopardy all over the state”, the commission said the credibility of the process has been called to question.

“Consequently, at a meeting held today 10th March 2019, the Commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice. This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47 (e) of the Regulation and Guidelines of the commission.”

He added that INEC has “established a Fact-finding Committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.”

The electoral umpire appealed to the people of Rivers State, particularly the voters to be patient as the commission investigates the circumstances behind the disruptions and the next action that needs to be taken.

 

War Song: PDP Asks ICC To List Amaechi For ‘Inciting Violence’

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to immediately list the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organization and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for inciting violence with war songs at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign rally in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Tuesday.

The PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that the threat of violence by Rotimi Amaechi which came few days after President Muhammadu Buhari called on his supporters to get ready to fight; as well as the alleged ‘body bag’ threat by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, have all exposed APC’s plot against peaceful elections in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: ‘I’ve Been Betrayed Serially’: Amaechi Vows To Battle Wike To The Last

“It is completely reprehensible that Amaechi, who had the privilege of governing Rivers state for eight years, will resort to importation of thugs into the state and inciting violence, just because the people have rejected President Buhari and his party has no candidate in the state for the general elections.

“Nigerians understand Amaechi’s frustration as a salesman of a failed product, which he also attested to in his leaked audio recording, but seeking to vent this frustration on the peace-loving people of Rivers state is totally unacceptable,” Ologbondiyan said.

He added, “Amaechi should have understood that Nigerians, across the board, have rejected President Buhari and reached a consensus to elect the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as the next President of our country. He should know that no form of intimidation, enticement or blackmail can change that reality.”

The PDP spokesman asked Nigerians to hold Amaechi and the APC responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in River State or any other part of our country, before, during and after the elections.

Amaechi, Amosun, Others Test-Run Section Of Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project

 

A test-run of the completed section of the 156km Lagos-Ibadan rail modernisation project was carried out on Friday, February 8. 

On the ride for the inspection were the Minister of transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, Senator Ashafa, traditional rulers and other government functionaries as well as the management staff of the Nigerian railway corporation.

The Managing Director of the rail corporation Eng. Fidelis Okhiria was very upbeat about the achievement.

Okhiria said the people can now travel for free from Iju, Lagos to Abeokuta for about a month, using the newly-completed trains by the Federal Government.

He said non-commercial operations will begin next week, between Iju and Abeokuta.

According to Mr Okhiria, the train will run the route 4times a day, he added that by the end of May, the Lagos-Ibadan tracks will be completed.

READ ALSO: Roads Won’t Be Closed For Buhari’s Visit, Says Lagos Govt

2019: Buhari Appoints Amaechi As Director-General Of Campaign Organisation

Rotimi Amaechi

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Rotimi Amaechi, as the Secretary and Director-General of his 2019 re-election campaign organisation.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Amaechi was the DG of the Buhari-Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Committee in 2014-2015 that won the elections and brought the current administration into office.

Mr Shehu noted that the new Director-General will announce other appointments into the campaign structure as approved by President Buhari.

Amaechi Describes Claim Of Appointing Governorship Candidate As Mischievous

Amaechi Describes Claim Of Appointing Governorship Candidate As Mischievous

 

The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, on Saturday faulted a claim that he has appointed a governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.

In a statement from his media office, the minister described the allegation as mischievous, stressing that it was deceitful for anyone to make such a claim.

Amaechi said it was his constitutionally enshrined democratic right to support any qualified aspirant of his choice as a Nigerian, registered voter and a card-carrying APC member from the state.

He, however, said he would not go against the laws of the land and the APC Constitution while supporting any member of the party in the 2019 general elections.

Amaechi is part of the delegation that accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to China on Friday for the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Ministers also on the President’s entourage are Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Babatunde Fashola (Power, Works and Housing), Muhammad Bello (FCT), Okechukwu Enelamah (Industry, Trade and Investment) and Udo Udoma (Budget and National Planning), among others.

Read Amaechi’s statement below;

On official national assignment in China, the attention of the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has been drawn to several wild, misleading, misguided and deliberately distorted stories and claims linking the Minister who is the Leader of the APC in Rivers State and the South-South region, to a purported ‘appointment’ of a Governorship Candidate for the APC in Rivers State for the 2019 gubernatorial election.

To clarify this fallacy, the Minister restates that:

As an individual, a registered voter and a card-carrying APC member from Rivers State, it’s the Honourable Minister’s inalienable, constitutionally enshrined democratic right to back/support/promote any qualified fellow party member of his choice, to aspire to be the candidate of the party in the State in the forthcoming governorship election or any other election.

However, as a true and thorough democrat, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a foundation member of the APC and a leading light of the party, recognizes that the Party candidates for the 2019 general elections will be chosen/elected by party members through the prescribed democratic process in the party’s constitution, rules and regulations.

It is, therefore, preposterous, mischievous; wholly and intentionally disingenuous and deceitful for anyone to claim, allege or even insinuate that the Honourable Minister has “appointed” a governorship candidate for APC in Rivers State.

I Have Nothing Personal Against Amaechi, Says Wike

Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike speaks on his relationship with former governor Rotimi Amaechi while marking his third anniversary in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Wednesday.

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has once again opened up on the relationship with his predecessor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

Amaechi, who also doubles as the Minister for Transportation upon governing the oil-rich state since 2007 to 2015, seems not to be on the same page with Governor Wike.

Wike, who briefed journalists in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on his administration’s strides three years after assuming leadership insists that he has nothing personal against Amaechi.

“I have no personal problem (with Amaechi), it’s just that people want to cause a problem in Rivers State,” he said on Wednesday.

“I won the election in 2015. Of all the manipulation they did, what did they achieve? I don’t have any problem. Somebody said I should settle, what am I settling? Is it a personal thing?”

He, however, criticised some politicians for not allowing the people of the state choose who governs them as their leader.

He added, “You have done your own eight years, let another person finish and go. Must you continue to dictate who is the governor of Rivers State?

“Why are you taking it too personal. Look at what is happening in their party. Somebody cannot have an ambition. If you have an ambition, it becomes a problem. You become disloyal, what kind of system are we in?”

Why Lekki Deep Seaport Is Important To Nigeria’s Economy – Amaechi

 

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has explained the importance of the Lekki Deep Seaport to Nigeria’s economy.

The Minister said that the  Deep Seaport will improve and upgrade the capacity of the Nigerian ports which are already existing in the country.

” Every country that desires a market share in the global maritime space must consider the importance of having a Deep Seaport because they convey enormous benefit to such countries”.

These are the words of Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday at the Commissioning of Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to the Minister,  Nigeria is about to get its first Deep Seaport which he believes will not only improve the capacity of the Nigerian Ports but will enable the transfer of skills and technology.

“What the country has had so far are river ports such as Tincan, Apapa, Port Harcourt amongst others, but this will be Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport” he added.

The Lekki Deep Seaport, he said will allow Nigeria to receive and accommodate large crude carriers, ultra-large crude carriers and other categories of large vessels.

Shipping companies across the world now embrace the use of large vessels and Nigeria’s ability to accommodate these vessels will almost guarantee the country’s hub status by the share volume of Nigeria’s inward and outward cargos.

“With the development of modern equipment, the Deep Seaport is projected to improve the capacity of our ports for space utilisation, modern cargo handling methods and new operating procedures.

“The project will also enable the transfer of skills and technology which will be executed by a special purpose vehicle called Lekki Port Free Trade Zone Enterprises Limited,” he said.

The Minister also expressed concern over the nation’s inability to generate outward cargos and hoped that with the deep Seaport things will get better.

The Deep Seaport is situated at the heart of the Lagos Trade Free Zone and is expected to be completed by 2020.

Killings, War Of Words, Blackout Dominate First Week Of 2018

Nigerians kick-started the year in high spirits despite the hardship faced in the final weeks of 2017, no thanks to the fuel crisis. Joining millions of people around the world, the year 2018 was welcomed with fireworks in various part of the country. Many, especially in major cities, gathered at fun spots from where they ushered in 2018.

BUHARI’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE:

President Muhammadu Buhari in his New Year address raised hopes as he promised to stop those behind ‘collective blackmail’ of Nigerians and said he is determined to get to the root of the fuel scarcity in the country. He also promised renewed and increased focus on infrastructure, revealing plans for a better railroad transportation nationwide. In the New Year message, President Buhari also assured Nigerians that the government “is slowly stabilising the economy” and that Nigeria will stop rice imports this year, insisting that restructuring is not Nigeria’s priority.

 

NEW YEAR KILLINGS:

New Year tragedy, however erupted in Calabar, Cross River State capital as fire destroyed Marian market affecting many shops and leaving many of the traders distraught. The tragedy spread like wildfire to Kaduna State as some gunmen unleashed mayhem killing the traditional ruler of Numana Chiefdom in Sanga Local Government Area of the state, Gambo Makama and his pregnant wife.

Ogba, Egbema, Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State was also struck by the New Year Tragedy as gunmen attacked worshipers returning from crossover service in the early hours of New Year’s day, killing at least 16 people. Christians and Muslims also on New Year’s Day clashed in Taiwo area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital leaving many injured and properties damaged.

 

WAR OF WORDS OVER BUHARI’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE:

Mixed reactions trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message as the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes it is depressing and full of false claims. Former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili in her reaction said the President should not lament about oil marketers but rather own up to the failure of the Petroleum sector. Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose asked the President to stop the blame game and take charge.

 

APC AND GOVERNORS CONDEMN NEW YEAR KILLINGS:

The New Year killings left the country in utter shock as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was quick to condemn the killings, describing it is gruesome and barbaric calling on relevant security agencies to embark on a full investigation.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai condemned the murder of the traditional ruler in Numana Chiefdom, calling for immediate investigation. Governor Nysom Wike in his reaction promised to reward anyone who can identify the perpetrators of the new Year attack in Rivers State with the sum of N200 million. Govennor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State in his reaction condemned the attack in Ilorin, describing it as criminal and ordered the police to launch manhunt to nab the perpetrators.

 

SHEKAU’S NEW VIDEO AND BENUE KILLINGS:

The New Year tragedies took a shocking turn when the leader of the terrorists group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau released a video message on Tuesday claiming a series of attacks in northeast Nigeria during the festive season. A pregnant woman and five others were killed in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of Benue State by suspected herdsmen. The death toll later increased leaving at least, 20 people dead.

 

WAR OF WORDS OVER RIVERS KILLINGS:

Following the New Year tragedy that occurred in Rivers State, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Governor Nyesom Wike were engaged in war of words. Amaechi blamed Wike over the attack accusing him of encouraging thugs and failing to safeguard the lives of the people of his state saying he should resign. The Rivers State Government however defended the Governor saying Amaechi’s statement is false and an attempt to gain political mileage from the killings.

 

NATIONWIDE BLACKOUT:

There was a sudden loss of power generation on Tuesday night, leading to a total blackout across the country. The Ministry Of Power, Works and Housing said the power outage occurred following a reported fire incident on a gas pipeline in Edo State leaving the country in total blackout.

 

BUHARI CONDEMNS KILLINGS, ORTOMS CALLS FOR HELP:

Buhari in reaction to the killings described it as unacceptable and commiserated with the families of the victims. He then directed law enforcement agencies to intensify efforts.

Due to the killings, protest erupted in Benue State as hundreds of youths on Wednesday stormed the popular Food Basket Roundabout in Makurdi lamenting over death of residents numbering 33 in the attacks carried out by suspected herdsmen. Governor Ortom in reaction expressed great worry over the incessant killings and called for more proactive measures to tackle the incessant killings.

 

SUSPECTED KILLER HERDSMEN ARRAIGNED:

Benue residents had cause to heave a sigh of relieve as Police in the state arraigned six herdsmen allegedly involved in the killing of 19 farmers in Akor village of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. The case which was heard at Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Makurdi was then adjourned to February 2018 for further hearing.

 

BUHARI INAGURATES ADDITIONAL LOCOMOTIVES, COACHES IN KADUNA

The week was all smiles as President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday inaugurated 10 additional locomotives and two coaches in Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna State. The President also took a train ride alongside Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

 

 EL-RUFAI AND BEN MURRAY-BRUCE IN WAR OF WORDS:

The week, however, ended on a warring note as President Muhammadu Buhari’s train ride sparked verbal war between the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and the Senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district, Ben Murray-Bruce.

Rivers Govt Defends Wike, Blasts Amaechi For Comments On Killings

Nyesom Wike, Chibuike Amaechi, Rives Rerun

The Rivers State Government has defended Governor Nyesom Wike against claims by the Minister of Transport that the governor was responsible for the New Year killing in the state.

Mr Rotimi Amaech had earlier on Tuesday accused the governor of encouraging thuggery and, thereby, causing the killing of up to 16 persons on New Year’s Day in the state.

The killings took place in Ogba, Egbema in Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State when gunmen opened fire on residents who were returning from a midnight service.

READ ALSO: Amaechi Blames Wike For New Year Killing In Rivers

Amaechi’s comments, has, however, further fueled the long-running feud between him and his successor, Wike with the Rivers Government describing them as false.

It also said the comments amounted to the indictment of security agencies, who are responsible for protecting lives and property in the country.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Amaechi’s statement is false and an infantile attempt to gain political mileage from the senseless killings of innocent Rivers indigenes,” the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Emma Okah, read in part.

“Over the last few days, there has been a nationwide upsurge of violence, leading to the unfortunate deaths of Nigerians. Is the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi claiming that in all these instances, the governors of the respective states armed the killers?”

Describing the minister’s comments as regrettable and a “sad commentary”, the commissioner said rather than being criticised, Governor Wike should be commended for improving security in the state.

He said, “For the records, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has funded and equipped security agencies in the state more than any other state governor has done.

“Rather than being commended for the sacrifice, ingrates like Amaechi see nothing in the genuine efforts of a patriotic leader, which Nyesom Ezenwo Wike represents.”

Meanwhile, President Buhari on Tuesday condemned the New Year killings in Rivers and other parts of the country, describing them as unacceptable.

Apart from the attack in Rivers, killings were reported in Benue, Kwara and Kaduna states on New Year’s Day.