Rotimi Amaechi’s Turbaning: Does Transport Minister Deserve the Honour?

Rotimi Amaechi’s Turbaning: Does Transport Minister Deserve the Honour?

  • Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi heads to Daura in Katsina state to be turbaned on Saturday by the state government
  • Amaechi's turbaning in the president's hometown has raised questions and has brought to the limelight his achievements in the transport sector
  • There are suspicions Amaechi could capitalize on his Daura honour to grab his party's presidential ticket

Katsina - Saturday, the 5th of February 2022, has been fixed to bestow on the nation’s minister of transport, Chibike Rotimi Amaechi a traditional title of Dan Amanar Daura, meaning ‘Trusted Son.’ The Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Farouk Umar will perform the turbaning.

As the drums thunder with the gathering of traditional rulers and politicians, many questions would be asked as to whether the transport minister truly deserves the honour, especially coming from the president’s hometown.

Rotimi Amaechi’s Turbaning: Does Transport Minister Deserve the Honour?
Rotimi Amaechi’s Turbaning: Does Transport Minister Deserve the Honour?
Source: Facebook has gathered that it’s the culture of the Daura people to celebrate those who have impacted their lives and their community, hence the reason for the honour on the former Rivers State governor.

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But opinions at some quarters have expressed that the ceremony aims at selling Amaechi as a 2023 presidential candidate, while others have argued and cautioned that the recognition should not be politicized.

A former Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate who represented Adamawa South between 1999 to 2007, Senator Silas Jonathan Zwingina had earlier said that the planned recognition of the Minister has nothing to do with politics.

He said it was based on merits and the outstanding performance and leadership qualities of Amaechi.

A statement from the Ministry of Transportation said he will be honoured with the traditional title in recognition of his contributions to the socio-economic development of the country, with regard to his effort in the revival of the rail sector that had been moribund for several years.

Does Amaechi deserve this recognition?

The Northern youths through its national coordinator, Bilal Dakiyak, has hailed Amaechi for his achievements in the transport sector.

In a recent briefing in support of Amaechi ahead of the 2023 elections, Bilal said:

"We will not end this briefing without touching on the feat that Mr Amaechi has achieved with his laudable reforms and performance in the transport sector. "If as a Minister he was able to translate President Buhari’s agenda to reality on the scale which he did one can only wonder the extent to which he will perform when given the opportunity to pilot the affairs of Nigeria."

The position of the youths further throws emphasis on the former Governor’s achievements under the current Government. There is a general view that the Minister has distinguished himself among other members of the executive council by way of achievements.

In February 2020, the Minister told CNBC Africa that paucity of funds had hindered the government from completing or starting a number of rail projects across the country.

He said:

“The problem with what we do is, (that) it is capital intensive and the funds are not just there.”

Talking about his determination to leave a mark, the Minister said:

We can talk about dreams. I call it “dream” because, yes, we have the ambition, but what about the money? Resources are essential to determining whether we are progressing or not."

But despite the scarce resources, one of the greatest achievements of President Buhari’s government is in the transport sector. The president had been hailed at different fora over this feat, and if there is anything he will be remembered for, it’s the reform in the transport sector through the instrumentality of Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

Tonye Princewill speaks

The question of whether Amaechi deserves to be honoured in Katsina was tabled before a former Rivers State governorship aspirant and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Prince Tonye Princewill who said, Amaechi had only in a few years revived the transport sector.

Princewill told that only a few of the ministers in the current government may have achieved Amaechi’s feat. He argued that Amaechi does not only deserve a reward in Daura or Katsina state but deserves national recognition as his achievements cut across almost all regions in the country.

He said:

“This is why I have been saying that he is my presidential candidate for 2023. As far as I know, there is no better person right now. Both his age and achievements put him ahead of others. We will go to Daura, return and talk about his aspiration.”

Trip to Daura

As Amaechi and his team head to Daura on Saturday to be honoured, two things are involved. It’s either he grabs the 2023 presidential ticket through the opportunity this investiture will create or he allows his traducers to push him into giving up on his 2023 ambition.

He has the yam and the knife right in front of him. He has the president smiling and rejoicing with him for a fruitful collaboration, but he definitely does not have everybody with him. He needs the wisdom of King Solomon.

Meanwhile, as the minister is being honoured in another state, his own state government that is supposed to celebrate him has accused the former governor of abandoning the state-owned Legacy 600 aircraft in Germany.

In his claim, Wike said under Amaechi’s administration, the aircraft was taken to Germany in 2012 and was dumped there.

The governor made this statement via his Special Assistant on Media, Kevin Ebiri, raising questions on why Wike is just realizing that an aircraft has been abandoned somewhere.

Wike was Amaechi’s chief of staff when he was the Rivers state governor. Both politicians later fell apart. Wike is now of the PDP, a main opposition party in the country. It has been rumoured that the governor may be running alongside Atiku Abubakar in the coming election. cannot authoritatively confirm the rumour.


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