By; AUWAL AHMED IBRAHIM GORONYO
On the 25th of March, the Minister of Transportation debunked an allegation labelled against him that he will run for Nigeria’s presidential seat, telling his supporters to give him money rather than presidential ticket but like a drama of irony, Rotimi Amaechi stood before his supporters and declared his interest to contest for the number one Nigerian seat 12 days after a horrific train attack under his ministry.
Someone asked on social media when the news of Rotimi Ameachi’s presidential bid was publicized, that instead of Rotimi to resign from his ministerial appointment because of his inability to avert what had happened to Abuja-Kaduna train, he even had the guts to declare his interest to rule Nigeria.
The critic asked what confidence Ameachi has to protect Nigerians’ lives and property when he failed to protect his own domain within his responsibility.
Up to this time, many passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train bomb attack are still with their captors and many are still bearing the agony losing their loved ones while Ameachi is declaring to rule Nigeria but in the developed world, things are never like this because their leaders value their subjects with high esteem.
On July 7, 2021, India’s health minister resigned because of the continued surge of COVID-19 to allow a competent person to be appointed to proffer efficient solution to the pandemic.
Also in 2021, Yoshihide Suga bowed out as prime minister of Japan due to COVID-19 high casualties.
In May 2021, Iraq’s health minister resigned following outcry over the deaths of about 130 people in a fire at a hospital in Baghdad.
In 2021, New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo stepped down amidst sexual accusation.
Egypt tourism minister, Hisham Zaazou forwarded resignation letter after Morsi’s administration following Islamist associated group that killed scores of tourists in 1997.
The central bank governor of Somalia unexpectedly resigned after seven weeks in the job, citing corruption concerns as the main reason for her resignation.
Many world leaders resigned for various reasons raging from corruption, office misconduct and terrorism, but it is hard to find such bravery in West Africa because of the money and power coming from such juicy positions.
Ameachi who openly said money is more important to him than presidential seat at first, but one can say a president can use his power to accumulate wealth but some other people can look at it in the angle of jokes but jokes have their times and their jurisdiction and what Ameachi said cannot be taken with a pinch of salt.
When Ameachi debunked joining the presidential race at first, many believed that he had no interest for the seat though the governor of Kaduna State once said he would only run for the 2023 presidency or as Rotimi Amaechi’s vice if President Muhammadu Buhari insists.
But for Amaechi to reply his supporters that he has no money to run for Nigeria’s presidency, but needs money to survive and at this time for him to publicly declare to run for the presidential seat means some people are behind the sponsorship of the contest and it will be good for Ameachi to mention them to clear the air because he has initially explained he has no money to contest for the seat.
But, what has Ameachi done as a minister to deem it fit and capable to be the next Nigerian president?
The Abuja-Kaduna train bomb attack has exposed the skeletons in the cupboard of Nigerian Railway Corporation as up to the time of this write up, there is no authentic number of passengers on board, despite hiring a firm to block financial leakages of the corporation.
In April 2021, the Minister of Transportation secured a private company to administer the issuance of tickets for a decade on N900 million payment and all the affairs of the transaction will be confidential.
To understand that there is no accountability in the ticketing, the exact number of passengers on board are yet to be identified.
In February 2022, some construction companies in Nigeria instituted a suit against the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi over award of contract without due process.
The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1426/2021 was filed at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
The plaintiffs instituted the suit praying the court to declare that the minister and his agents were biased in their assessment of the bidding in favour of the CCECC, a Chinese company.
As the Minister of Transportation, Ameachi explained the cause of the train attack that his request for the procurement of security equipment to avoid the possible attack was rejected.
Those solace words didn’t hold water and cannot exonerate the Honourable Minister because like what the governor of Kaduna State said through his Commissioner of Security and Internal Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, that the Federal Ministry of Transportation didn’t refuse to operate the 6: 00 pm to 8: 00pm shuttle and the minister did not heed to the Kaduna State Government’s advice until the incident occurred.
Amaechi’s presidential declaration shouldn’t have come at this time of mourning and sober reflection and like what Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu did on quitting his birthday celebration, Amaechi should continue to join other Nigerians and those who lost their loved ones and assist in kind and cash those whose relatives are with the kidnappers since the Abuja-Kaduna train attack happened, not all the relatives of the abductees can raise N5 million to N100 million for their freedom.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim Goronyo is a political analyst from Kaduna and can be reached via email@example.com