Why am I supporting Rotimi Amaechi for president of Nigeria 2023? That’s a good question, and perhaps there’s no good way to answer it. Or perhaps there is a good way to answer it. Either way, it’s a good question.
2007 Amaechi had hinged his socio-economic strategy on security of life and property; fiscal discipline, investment in education, healthcare, power generation, road construction, agriculture, and human capacity development.
By the time he was sworn into office, Rivers State was on the brink of anarchy, due to the activities of marauding militia groups disguised as Niger Delta militants. Mindful that it would be challenging to undertake developmental projects under the prevailing climate of fear, which had forced several multinationals and individuals to leave Rivers, he vowed to restore law and order.
Backed by the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua, he ordered a major military offensive in December 2007 in Okrika that dislodged members of the Niger Delta Vigilante led by Ateke Tom and other raids across the state.
Amaechi supported the security agencies in the areas of logistics and equipment as well as training of the police anti terror squad in Israel to enhance their capacity to provide security for residents.
Due to his zero tolerance policy against brigandry and banditry, before the late President Yar’Adua granted amnesty to the militias whose activities claimed several lives and destabilised the state, in 2009, Amaechi had restored law and order in Port Harcourt and other parts of the state. However, the security situation has deteriorated in the last two years due to the compromise of the security architecture as a result of faceoff between the presidency and Amaechi.
But as he leaves office, many Rivers residents, particularly the poor, would remain grateful to the Amaechi’s administration for the social changes it promoted and implemented over the past eight years, particularly in the education and healthcare sectors.
Prior to 2007, the state’s educational system had broken down, due to years of neglect that left basic infrastructure in the 1,300 primary schools with six classroom each, in ruins. School buildings with dilapidated roofs and where children in overcrowded classrooms sat on bare floor to learn, was a common sight.
The desire to reverse the situation spurred Amaechi to declare a state of emergency in the sector. First, he decided to fix the infrastructural deficit by constructing 500 out of the 700 planned new modern 14 classroom primary schools, retraining and recruitment of 13,000 teachers.
, over 250 of these schools were equipped and the pupils were provided with free uniforms, free school sandals, free school bags and free textbooks. Several hundred Rivers indigenes and non-indigenes benefited from the state undergraduate and post graduate overseas scholarship schemes.
Regarding healthcare delivery, his administration built over 110 health centres located in nearly all the wards in the state. He also built referral facilities in Port Harcourt – Prof. Kelsey Harrison Hospital and Dental-Maxillo Facial Hospital,
To tackle the excruciating traffic congestion in Port Harcourt and its environs, Amaechi, within the first six years of his reign, expanded into dual carriage ways the following: Rumuola to Rumuokuta Road, Wimpey Road, Ada George Road, Old Aba Road, Ikwerre Road (beginning from Education to Agip bus stops), Woji/Elelenwo/Akpajo Road, Azikiwe Road, Olu Obasanjo Road, Rumuokuta/NTA/Choba Road, Oginigba Road, Stadium Road, Okporo Road, G.U. Ake Road, Nkpogu Road, Port Harcourt/Owerri Road. In addition, the Rumukwurushi-Igwuruta as well as the Garrison-Trans Amadi-Elelenwo to East West Road,. He is reputed to have constructed or upgraded more roads in the history of the state, more than all his predecessors.
To ensure food security and employment generation, the government collaborated with the founder of the Songhai Initiative to develop an integrated farm, which combines livestock, arable farming, fisheries, snail farming and poultry on 314 hectares of arable land in Bunu-Tai. The then governor also developed modern fish farms in four councils of the state. The farm in Buguma has a capacity for 1000 tonnes per year, but is unfortunate that the present Government of Rivers state came and stopped everything concerning Songhai etc( we don’t know why)
Other strides in agriculture include, the acquisition of 2,000 hectares of land in Ogoni for the cultivation, production and export of banana for commercial purposes in partnership with a Mexican firm, San Carlos Nigeria Limited. It was expected that about 6 million boxes of banana will be produced from this farm yearly, so sad the present Government also put an end to it.
“Amaechi has set a standard that will be difficult to match. Amaechi showed he was 100 years ahead of every state in Nigeria.
I choose Rotimi Amaechi for president come 2023
Mrs Opem Udos