The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has formally declared his intention to contest for president on Saturday, even as he promised to tackle insecurity and hunger in Nigeria.
Amaechi made the declaration at exactly 1:18pm during a special thanksgiving organised in her s honour by the All Progressives Congress at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Igwurita, Ikwerre Local Government Area, a facility he built while he was the Governor of Rivers State.
The Minister in his speech titled ‘Forward with courage’ started with a song ‘who can battle with the Lord’, saying ‘hope is around the corner’.
Amaechi said he considered it a moral duty to give what he could in the service of the country.
“Fellow Nigerians, I stand before you today to declare my intention and submit my application to serve as your next President.
“My aspiration is not about fulfilling any personal ambition. I am contesting for office because I believe that it is my moral duty to give what I can in the service of my country.
“To sustain and intensify present efforts at solving our national problems, our democracy must ensure the emergence of a leadership that is equipped with broad experience in governance to ensure stability and continuity.
“To sustain our democracy and preserve our unity, we need a steady hand and a passion for success in a nation that remains united to pursue prosperity for all Nigerians.
“It is this combination of experience and patriotic passion that I bring to the table. I have been in the political arena for 23 years.
“I have served at every level of government – local, state, and federal. I have served both as a political appointee and an elected official. I have served both as an executive – as Governor of Rivers State and as a legislator – as Speaker of the State House of Assembly,” he stated.
The minister added, “In these capacities, I did not just fill vacant posts. As a Speaker, I managed the legislative process during a difficult transition from military rule.
“As governor, I defeated mercantile militancy and restored security. As a minister, I can modestly claim to have justified the trust of Nigerians.
“Today, I stand as an aspirant to the position of President because of that same passion for people; that same drive for results.
“More than ever before, I am burning with the zeal to make a decisive difference in the lives of all Nigerians.”
Amaechi, who implored the gathering to observe a minute silence in honour of those who died in the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, rued the insecurity, unemployment and hunger in the country.
“We are facing some serious challenges as a country. These are problems of insecurity, challenges of greater accountability in governance, youth unemployment and the scourge of spiral poverty.
“These problems are however not the exclusive preserve of Nigeria. We live in a troubled world. The reality we used to know has been altered in nearly every nation.
“Climate change has brought about food scarcity in some places. Population explosion has produced unusual pressure on resources and supplies.
“Poverty has become a challenge all over the world, especially in the developing countries, saying Nigeria was part of the world and must out in necessary efforts to tackle challenges.
“No matter the darts and arrows that come my way, I will remain steadfast because the stakes are too high. We cannot afford to fail. We cannot afford to veer off-course.
“I pledge my heart, mind and soul to the task of building a Nigeria in which every child can go to school, every young person can find work or support to start a business, every citizen can travel safely around the country and sleep at night knowing that law and order prevail and every Nigerian feels included, heard, and respected.
“The road ahead will be long and arduous. But we go forward with faith,” Amaechi stated.
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