Amaechi Opens Up on Opposition to Jonathan

Gov Aamechi

The fact that South-south region where President Goodluck Jonathan comes from has not benefitted from his administration is the main reason why Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi is opposing the president.

Amaechi , who is the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), also listed the parlous state of the economy, the poverty rate and the poor infrastructure, especially the East-West Road, as other reasons for his opposition.

Amaechi was reacting to comments by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, on the nation's economy and the South-south’s support for Jonathan respectively.
The Governor insisted that rather than the rosy picture being painted by the Finance Minister, the Nigerian economy is actually struggling to survive

According to him, the federal government was yet to fully pay the Rivers State allocation for July.

Amaechi, who spoke at a programme organised by the Rotary International, District 9140 for young future leaders at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Thursday, also tackled the Delta State governor over his remarks that opposition to Jonathan should not come from the president’s South-south region, stressing that that he considered Nigeria’s national interest far and above any other interest.

He bemoaned the fact that those fighting a just cause were being maligned on the altar of public criticism, pointing out that Nigerians usually suffered for not asking the relevant questions.

“We (NGF) asked the Minister of Finance to resign if she is not able to manage the economy and she replied, ‘I dey kampe’. As at now, we are yet to receive the complete federation allocation for July.

“How strong is an economy that cannot fund its statutory state government federal allocation?  Our entitlement as Rivers State Government in July was N19 billion, they have paid us only N14 billion!
“Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) published (revenue) receipts of N1.05 trillion in July, so why do they say that there is no money?  If we receive N1.05 trillion by July, why are they saying there is no money?” he queried.

Going back in time to buttress his position on the current poor state of the country, Amaechi said: “In 1970, the poverty rate in Nigeria was 30 per cent.  How many of you know the poverty rate now? I was in a meeting where I said it was 70 per cent but the Minister of Finance said it was 68 per cent. What’s the difference between 68 and 70?  So we are giving you a nation that is in a comatose state, that’s what we are handing over to you.

“If it is a nation that is progressing, from 30 per cent in 1970, we should be talking of about 15 per cent now. So you have work to do and the first step to that work is get an education.

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