The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, says he plans to help Nigerians see that the APC Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, is different from what the PDP has been portraying him to be for the past 16 years.
Speaking on Channels Television, in his capacity as the Director-General of General Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Amaechi said that the GMB Campaign would have a different outlook.
He noted that work had already started in this regard, as they have shown the public that APC Presidential candidate is a family man, contrary to the image of him “as if he doesn’t smile and the man makes the best jokes anybody can hear”.
“We are trying to sell to you a man who, though 70, is more fit than others and most other people who are competing with him.
“You saw him on the day we matched against the impunity of the President and he joined us to match from the Eagles Square to Hilton, back to the Police Headquarters, stood out there till we closed 6pm.”
Governor Amaechi also addressed the allegations against him that he has been funding the presidential campaign of his party with vigour despite owing salaries of workers in his state.
“Now I have an appointment as the DG of Buhari campaign, I will not make a careless statement that I have no facts on,” condemning statements credited to a Presidential Spokesman alleging that he was funding the campaign.
Funding GMB Campaign
Having criticized the manner in which money was raised for the campaign of the PDP’s President Goodluck Jonathan, Amaechi was asked to explain how he intends to raise money for the Buhari Campaign.
Claiming that the APC was at a disadvantage financially, “If you call a fund raising today you will see how many people that will come, are you sure we will be able to get up to 1billion?
“If you look at the Buhari Campaign Organisation, we have put a process in place where Nigerians will donate 1naira, 2naira, 10,000, 15,000…
“If you think you will match this President with money, then you will not win the election. We will depend on the people.”
With words out that Governors would be funding the campaign, Amaechi said, “Unfortunately the Governors in APC are not the rich governors.”
He explained that he could not afford to fund the election campaign with the financial challenges that the Rivers State Government has had to face.
“My wage bill is 9.2billion. Don’t forget I employed 13,200 teachers, don’t forget I employed 400 doctors,” he said.
Rivers State Cannot Fund Buhari Campaign
Governor Amaechi, during the conversation, also provided details of Rivers State’s revenue and expenditure, as well as the challenges being faced with dwindling monthly allocation from the Federal Government.
He insisted that the Federal Government should take responsibility for the poor situation in the states, “Its the stealing at the federal level that has denied us funds,” he said.
He, however, explained that Rivers State has been able to forge ahead due to his dynamism in raising the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state, which previous administrations fed on.
“Before I became Governor, the IGR was 2.5billion. We’ve been able to raise the IGR from 2.5billion to 8billion. No new taxes, just stopping corruption. I made sure nobody shared the money.
“Before, what they do is to give the State Government 2.5billion, other interests they share the rest. So, I said put all the money on the till. When they brought the money back, we saw that we were getting more money.
“I’m proud to say that that income is able to rise to 8.5billion because we were able to block the loop holes of corruption.
He added that from the Federal Allocation which used to be about 20 to 25billion Naira, the state had since been receiving about 12 to 14billion Naira only.