By Oluwatoyin Amao
Barely one week after advising his colleagues to stop blaming former
President Goodluck Jonathan for the challenges confronting the nation
but rather concentrate on finding solution to the country’s numerous
problems, Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, appears unconvinced by his own argument as he launched a fresh tirade against the immediate past President on Tuesday.
Amaechi said he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 due to
the gross mismanagement of the country’s resources by the former
President. According to him, the wastage of the country’s resources was
so much during the PDP reign that a total of $65bn left in the Excess
Crude Account by ex-President Olusegun Obansajo was squandered by his successor, Goodluck Jonathan.
Amaechi said he left the PDP because he was desirous of change and he
saw a change agent in the presidential candidate of the All Progressives
Congress, Muhammadu Buhari.
Amaechi said this in Lagos on the sidelines of the Future Awards Africa
held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island.
According to Amaechi, Buhari, who eventually defeated Jonathan,
inherited an empty treasury when he came into office as President.
The Transportation Minister lamented that had the Jonathan government saved rather than squandered the country’s resources, getting money to fund some major railway projects in the country would have been easy.
Amaechi said, “When Obasanjo was leaving, he left about $65bn in the
Excess Crude Account, but this money was frittered away and we wonder where the money is.
“As at then, the price of crude oil during the President Goodluck
Jonathan’s administration hovered around $140, with this, they did not leave anything for the incoming government.
“With that kind of money, we should be thinking of connecting Nigeria
through rail system. The rail between Ibadan to Kano would have been
“Also the rail gauge between Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Lagos to
Calabar would have been completed, but all the excess crude money was frittered away, we need to ask questions.”
Amaechi said as the then Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, he was influential and could have stayed and used his position to force the
former ruling party to do the right thing, but he was simply fed up.
“My attention and belief shifted to Buhari which was the viable
alternative; I believe in the change mantra because it is the only way
to improve on what is on the ground.
“He (Buhari) has not disappointed (the country) because the economy is now back on track and is growing. This is evident in the current prices of food items because it’s getting lower.”
Efforts to get Jonathan’s reaction did not succeed, as phone calls
placed to the mobile line of the former President’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, did not go through.
Eze had also not responded to both a text message and an email sent to
him as of press time.
But the PDP has accused Amaechi of leading the governors against the
Jonathan administration in its bid to save money.
The former ruling party said that Amaechi, as the Chairman of the
Nigerian Governors’ Forum, was also asking the Federal Government to
share all of the money in the Excess Crude Account.
It wondered why the former governor of Rivers State would now turn
around to accuse the former President and his administration of not