Editor's note: In this piece, public affairs commentator and APC chieftain, Chief Edwin Obaseki, writes on the chances of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to emerge as the party's candidate ahead of the 2023 presidential primary election scheduled to hold in Abuja on Sunday, May 29.
In a matter of days, when all is said and done, about 23 members of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress APC will slug it out to determine who will be the flag bearer in the presidential race come 2023. A peep into the long list of aspirants shows that it is a gathering of contenders while some of them are simply put, pretenders.
Visible on the list of contenders is no other person than the immediate past minister of transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who unquestionably is the most experienced in the race, having not just held different offices in the past 23 years, but has remained in government for that stretch of time since the return of civil rule in 1999.
Today, the mention of his name sends jitters as Amaechi is reputed to be someone who knows the game, particularly when it comes to palace politics, his capacity and competence over the years have been tested and he has proven to all that he is the right man for the job.
Since declaring for the office of the president, Amaechi has shown to be a force to be reckoned with in the campaign for the APC ticket. So far, he is not only visible, he has transverse the length and breadth of Nigeria including states where he is expected to be confronted by hostile delegates or where certain political big wigs have as their base, putting Lagos and Kano in view, yet Amaechi displayed traits that shows that he is the kind of person Nigeria needs at this time in her national life. He is fearless, efficient, hands-on, competent, God-fearing, and compassionate.
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The man Amaechi is a true Nigerian and extremely unbiased. He never shies away from expressing his personal opinion no matter whose ox is gored hence it can be concluded that he has all it takes to address Nigeria’s most disturbing challenge, insecurity. He set an example in Rivers state during his tenure as governor when kidnapping, political killings, and other violent acts were the order of the day. He got to work and in record time made Rivers state a safe place to reside, and can repeat the same in Nigeria.
Another plus for an Amaechi presidency is the fact that he has the most useful experience in governance and government, after spending unbroken 23 years in power. He previously served in oil-rich Rivers state as governor from 2007 to 2015 and Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007. He became a minister serving under President Muhammadu Buhari till April 9, 2022, when he declared interest to contest in the presidential election in 2023. This is someone who rose from nowhere to where he is. He is indeed a national asset.
A review of the role he played in the emergence of President Buhari, not leaving anything to chance and at personal risks, shows he has earned the absolute trust of the north across the board. His title, Dan Amanar Daura, is a testament. Amaechi is the one candidate with the most visibility to unify Nigeria, showing a staggering understanding of the dynamics of her fault lines, so if addressing the concerns that bind Nigerians together is genuinely a desire of all, then, the experience cannot be overemphasized and Amaechi is number one here.
For those with a genuine desire that 2023 should bring forth new thinking towards a new Nigeria with bright young minds in charge, a vote for Amaechi is the right step towards making that dream a reality. No doubt, Amaechi typifies the story of the average Nigerian and one that everyone can relate to.
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