Governor Rotimi Amaechi Addresses Issues On Reform and Security in London

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Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi was
welcomed with strong support from fellow
Rivers diasporans in the UK during his recent visit.
The governor was delivering a speech titled ‘Reform
and Resource Governance’ at Chatham House in
Central London. Students held placards outside the
venue (pictures below) that praised
Governor Amaechi and showed solidarity despite his
involvement in the disunity and fighting happening
with federal government. The students who are
beneficiaries of the governor’s scholarship scheme
designed to improve manpower in the state, claimed
that they were there to show appreciation for the
good work the governor is doing.
Home to the Royal Institute of International Affairs,
Chatham House regularly invites Nigerian politicians
to the UK to discuss how the African continent is
developing. The session was part of the African
dialogue series. Governor Amaechi outlined the
achievements of his administration since assuming
office in 2007, all of which included infrastructural
projects, the launching of agricultural plantations,
sending hundreds of students on scholarship to UK
and Canada and the funding of education.
500 primary schools have been built in Rivers State
during his tenure and 250 more will be commissioned
starting from October this year.
Governor Amaechi said: “The academic structure we
inherited was very bad as many children could not
stay in school and those who did got a very poor
education. We are building schools and uniforms,
sandals, bags and books are free, while with
healthcare, we have built 60 health centres and 70
more will be commissioned before the end of the
year.” When speaking on the scholarships
programmes he said, “We send 300 every year to the
UK and Canada on scholarship and we have
established palm oil and banana plantations that
employ workers. By the end of our tenure, we would
have laid the foundation for a more robust and less
oil dependent economy in Rivers State.”
Governor Amaechi also addressed his recent political
troubles during his speech. He said the trouble
started when it was suspected that he had higher
political ambitions for 2015. He explained that he has
not declared any position yet and that the impact of
the clampdown was that several; projects in Rivers
State have been put on hold by the federal
government. Governor Amaechi said: “When the
federal government suspects that you have an
ambition, they do everything to bring you down. For
instance, we have two helicopters to monitor security
that they have refused permission to be brought into
the country and they have frustrated plans we have
to open a syringe manufacturing factory in Rivers
State. “Even if they have an issue with me, why
should the whole of Rivers State suffer? We have
numerous projects which we have signed agreements
with the federal government to introduce and
implement but since this crisis began, they have
suspended all of them and the people feeling it are
the ordinary people of Rivers State.”
The governor added that Rivers State is the second
largest economy in Nigeria and that in his own
opinion; good political leadership could improve
things further. However, he said that the political
culture in Nigeria where politicians believe they are
doing the people a favour is a severe impediment as
is the refusal of certain people to leave the political
scene. He stated that certain politicians have
remained on the scene despite no longer having
anything to offer. He then joked that he intends to
leave politics one day as he does not entertain the
idea of sitting round a table arguing with his
children.
Emphasising that the current crisis in Rivers
State threatened security, Governor Amaechi said
that some of the militant groups that have been
disbanded have now been revived and are being used
to cause mayhem and protest against his
government. He said that on the day of the fracas in
the Rivers State House of Assembly, many of these
thugs were led in with the involvement of the police
commissioner. Governor Amaechi said, “I used to be
the speaker of the house and the law is that you are
not even allowed to bring your walking stick in
when entering. How did these people manage to
bring in thugs, weapons, a fake mace and cause
mayhem while the police were not only looking on
but aiding them?”
He also pointed out that the violence started long
before the recording that became viral on Youtube, it
began when five assemblymen smuggled a fake mace
into the Rivers State House of Assembly and used
their hoodlums to create chaos. According to the
governor, after the police commissioner refused to
do anything about it, he went there with his security
detail and it was them who eventually restored order.

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Posted By K2I

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Posted on July 31, 2013, in News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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