Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said it is unfair to blame President Muhammadu Buhari for the rising poverty rate in the country.
Amaechi spoke while delivering the 34th convocation lecture of the University of Calabar in Cross River State on Friday, titled ‘Beyond Our Imperfect Union: The National Question and Nigeria’s Future.’
The former Rivers Governor maintained that the problem of rising poverty preceded the current administration.
According to the former State Assembly Speaker, calls for restructuring, increased regional autonomy and secession will not meet the long-term aspirations of Nigerians for a better life.
He however insisted that various concerns could only be addressed successfully if Nigerians stood united as one nation in spite of all challenges.
Amaechi also warned that the poor would overrun Nigeria if inequality and extreme poverty were not addressed.
Amaechi said: “In recent days, we have begun to hear loud voices of disunity from various sections of the country. In response to current economic difficulties and the problem of insecurity, some have insisted on the now familiar argument for restructuring of the federation. Others have advocated increased regional autonomy.
“Some extremists are calling for secession of parts of the country from the federation. None of these divisive options would serve the urgent needs of this nation or the long-term aspiration of all our people for a better life in a happier nation.
“Let me say without any fear that the concerns being raised by Nigerians about the future of our country are legitimate. They are indications of great patriotism and love. We all treasure this country and are anxious that it transforms into a better place for all of us. This overwhelming wish for a better Nigeria far outweighs the doomsday predictions of a few pessimists,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Media Office.