Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, has said he did not join politics because he wanted to ‘solve Nigeria’s problems.’
Amaechi said that unemployment pushed him into politics rather than the zeal to serve.
“I didn’t join politics because I wanted to be a Leader or because I wanted to solve Nigeria’s problems. I joined because of unemployment. I also believe there is a part that grace played in it,” Amaechi said in an interview with Punch Newspaper.
Recall that Amaechi, a graduate of English Studies and Literature from the University of Port Harcourt, had his first major political break in 1999 when he was elected as a member and then Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He was re-elected to the position in 2003.
In 2007, he contested and won the party’s Governorship ticket even though Celestine Omehia was declared the party’s flagbearer. The PDP won the election and Omehia was sworn in as Governor.
Amaechi challenged Omehia’s candidacy before a court and was eventually declared the rightful candidate of the PDP and winner of the April 2007 Governorship election in Rivers State. He served twice as the State Governor under the party before his defection to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2013.
He currently serves as Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, a position he has been occupying since 2015.
While recounting his political journey in the interview, Amaechi lamented the poor representation of the people by political officeholders.
He noted that the poor have never been properly represented by the government whether it is the current administration, which he is part of, or the ones before it.
“The poor are still here and I doubt if they would ever go away. What happens is that the elite – whether the Capitalists or Socialists – must manage them in such a way that they can be provided for,” he added.
While Amaechi condemned the representation of disadvantaged Nigerians by the political class, he has, at least on one occasion, used his office to deny disadvantaged Nigerians opportunities they would have otherwise benefited from.