The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on Friday boasted of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances of winning the 2019 elections in the opposition’s stronghold, saying that, even if the president was brought on a sick bed, he will win.
Amaechi, disclosed this on the sidelines of the inspection tour of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line.
According to him, “No matter what you do, the governor of Sokoto will leave naturally as he has ambition to be president.
He said: “You take a chicken to him he will still go, right? The same with Kwara, these are people you expect that they will leave; okay, they left with some members of House of Reps and Senate, where did they come from?
“They came from areas the president is comfortable. Do you honestly believe that the president will lose election in this country?
“Well nobody is God, but that is one of his comfort zones. The next person that left, left from Bauchi, if you bring president on a sick bed in Bauchi he will win. He has never lost election in Bauchi.”
The minister, while speaking on the president’s efforts to revived the railway system in the country, said: “If you see the files that the president has been pushing to complete every project that was started from Obasanjo, Yar’adua to Goodluck and to us.
“Other governments won’t do that, they will start their own so that it will be remembered after them. This project we are completing has been there for 34 years, imagine those of you born 30 years ago.”
When asked the rush to complete the projects across the country, the Minister, said: “You can imagine the commercial activity, imagine how much food will go. The pressure on the road will be reduced.”
Speaking on his ministry’s efforts sell Buhari for 2019, he said, “I thought the first thing in the mind of any Nigerian is how to feed, right? It is only when a Nigerian feeds that, Buhari the president. He is not completing these projects because he wants them to re-elect him or not, but he is doing it to satisfy himself conscience that he has done his best for Nigerians.”
On the train, he said: “What we have borrowed is $1.6 billion for railways. It for Lagos-Ibadan. The ministry is funding this (Itakpe-Warri) this contract is about a hundred and something million dollars to CCECC, what CCECC is doing is that they are handling the vandalised part from Itakpe to Ajaokuta.
“Haven’t built this for 30-something years some criminals just went and vandalised it. What we did was give them a contract not to only relay the tracks back to Ajaokuta but also do sidings.
He explained that, “we are funding Abuja-Kaduna. In total, it will come down to a billion dollars. The Chinese government gave us $500 million and we are giving N500 million. We awarded a contract of $500 million for coaches the China Exem bank wanted to give us the money but the president turned it down and said we should fund it ourselves and we started funding it, $500 million to fund locomotives, the CCECC want to manufacture wagons, some of us think it will be Ajaokuta because of the iron ore.
Amaechi said: “The president is asking, all those days we used to get 110, 120 dollars for a barrel what did we do with it.
“That is why when this people come together and say they want to fight us. Have Nigerians forgotten so easily that we had money all this while – how much have we put in this project, it is $200 million, how much is $200? It was less than N72 billion it was at 150. Why can’t somebody say here is N72 billion go and complete that project. The president insists that we should do a sea port in Warri and we have gotten a company to do that.”