…Says he is Igbo
Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has joined the 2023 presidential race, maintaining that he is Igbo and can run on the Igbo platform.
Amaechi, in his yet-to-be unveiled manifesto, said he is in the race because he is “qualified to serve.”
Though he is yet to formally declare his aspiration, his manifesto, quoted him as saying, “I believe that the destiny of Nigeria can only be best actualized in the context of one indivisible and united nation.
Titled: “Qualified to Serve,” the 86-page brochure, which is his pitch for the APC ticket, highlighted why he decided to contest – his competitive advantages, broad and deep experiences in governance, nationalist outlook, geopolitical considerations, political prowess, personality and leadership, track record of performance, highlights of achievements as Rivers State governor and Minister of Transportation and what he called “hallmarks of Amaechi’s leadership”.
According to Amaechi, “We must give meaning to democracy so that every Nigerian can find a place and a voice in a land of free men and women. We must deploy our diversity to increase our strength. We must make our streets and highways, and now forests and farmlands, safe again for all Nigerians to fulfill their individual dreams of a good life so that, together, we can actualize the manifest destiny of this blessed land”.
Itemising the focus of his campaign, Amaechi said, “We need to quickly replace the politics of impressions and personalities with the politics of issues and ideas. We must seek common ground on broad national issues on a bipartisan basis, not based on personalities or geo-political zones, tribes, or factions.
Amaechi said courage, stamina, and resilience are some of the virtues that make him tower above others.
Addressing the question of his Igbo identity he said, “My birth names are Igbo names: Chibuike Amaechi. I am an Igbo man. Let no one deny me my Igbo heritage, birthright, ancestry, please! Unless you want to be sectional and deny the Igbo people. I have made myself clear repeatedly, that I, Chibuike Amaechi from Ikwerre, am an Igbo man. Our people are Igbo people.”
The minister urged his party, the APC, to look towards Ndigbo for the 2023 presidential ticket.
Addressing those who insist that only Igbo from the South-East are qualified since zoning is done on a regional basis, the brochure said Amaechi, coming from South-South, gives him a unique advantage.
Amaechi further said the cap fits him because he has a “thorough understanding of the complexities of the nation – the challenges of balancing the interests and influences in a country of different persuasions, traditions, cultures, religions”.
“While others fan the flames of ethnic tension for their own selfish political advantage, Amaechi has consistently championed national unity, identifying ethnic divisiveness as an obstacle to progress”, he emphasised.