Rotimi Amaechi

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Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi
Chibuike Amaechi (cropped).jpg
Minister of Transportation
Assumed office
August 21, 2019
PresidentMuhammadu Buhari
Preceded byHimself
In office
November 11, 2015 – May 28, 2019
PresidentMuhammadu Buhari
Preceded byAudu Idris Umar
Succeeded byHimself
Governor of Rivers State
In office
October 2007 – May 2015
DeputyTele Ikuru
Preceded byCelestine Omehia
Succeeded byEzenwo Nyesom Wike
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly
In office
1999–2007
GovernorPeter Odili
Personal details
Born
Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

(1965-05-27) 27 May 1965 (age 55)
Ubima, Ikwerre, Eastern Region, Nigeria
(now Ubima, Ikwerre, Rivers State, Nigeria)
NationalityNigerian
Political partyAll Progressive Congress (2014-present)
Other political
affiliations
Peoples Democratic Party (1999-2014)
Spouse(s)Judith Amaechi
Alma materUniversity of Port Harcourt

Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (born 27 May 1965) is a Nigerian politician who is currently serving as the Minister of Transportation in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari. He previously served in oil-rich Rivers State as Governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015 and Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2007.[1]

Background[edit]

Amaechi was born in Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State to the family of the late Elder Fidelis Amaechi and Mary Amaechi. His first and last names are Igbo meaning “God is strength or power” and “who knows tomorrow” respectively.[2][3] He was raised in Diobu, a densely populated neighbourhood in Port Harcourt.[4][5]

He had his early education at St Theresa's Primary School from 1970 to 1976. He earned his West African Senior School Certificate in 1982 after attending Government Secondary School Okolobiri. Amaechi received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) in English Studies and Literature from the University of Port Harcourt in 1987, where he was the President of the National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS).

He completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps in 1988, and thereafter joined Pamo Clinics and Hospitals Limited owned by Peter Odili, where he worked until 1992. He also a director of several companies, including West Africa Glass Industry Limited and Risonpalm Nigeria Limited.

Early political career[edit]

During the transition to the Third Nigerian Republic, Amaechi was Secretary of the National Republican Convention in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State. Between 1992 and 1994, he was Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili – his boss believed in Amaechi as a young man with potential in politics, and brought him under his wing. In 1996, he was the Rivers State's Secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) caretaker committee during the transition programme of General Sani Abacha.[6]

Rivers State House of Assembly (1999–2007)[edit]

In 1999, he contested and won a seat to become a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly to represent his constituency. He was subsequently elected as the Speaker of the House of Assembly. Amaechi was elected the Chairman of Nigeria's Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies. In May 2003, he was re-elected as the Speaker. In 2003, when the National Assembly moved to hijack the legislative functions of the State House of Assembly as enshrined in the constitution, he and his colleagues took the matter to Supreme Court.

As speaker, Amaechi used his close working relationship with Governor Peter Odili to increase the harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms of government in Rivers State, until when Rotimi Amaechi launched a campaign against the State Government, and verbally attacked the image of the State Governor, in an effort to succeed Peter Odili as governor in 2007.

Governor of Rivers State[edit]

In 2007, Amaechi contested and won the People's Democratic Party (PDP) primary for Rivers State Governor in 2007. His name was substituted by the party, an action which he challenged in court. The case eventually got to the Supreme Court. He became governor on October 26, 2007, after the Supreme Court ruled that he was the rightful candidate of the PDP and winner of the April 2007 Governorship election in Rivers State.

His administration invested in infrastructure development, construction of roads and bridges, sticking to the vision of connecting all parts of the state by road. The governor was also committed to urban renewal and modernization of transportation services. His administration began building a monorail to provide mass transportation within the city of Port Harcourt.[7] Some power plant projects (Afam, Trans Amadi, Onne) were also built to improve power supply in the State.[8]

He was re-elected for a second term on 26 April 2011. In August 2013, Amaechi was amongst seven serving governors who formed the G-7 faction within the PDP. In November 2013, Amaechi alongside five members of the G-7 defected to the new opposition party the All Progressives Congress (APC) and became director general of Muhammadu Buhari's presidential campaign.[9]

Minister of Transportation[edit]

In 2015, following Muhammadu Buhari's election, Amaechi was appointed to his cabinet as Federal Minister of Transportation. In July 2019, he was re-nominated for ministerial appointment by President Buhari.[10] Amaechi was ask to take a bow and go during his screening by the Senate.[11][12]

Corruption[edit]

Since leaving office in 2015, Amaechi has been the subject of corruption allegations by his successor Governor Ezenwo Wike.[13] Wike accused him of using state funds to finance President Muhammadu Buhari's campaign during the 2015 presidential election through the sale of Rivers state-owned oil and gas assets,[14] and fraudulently misappropriating the proceeds of the sale amounting to US$309 million.[15] Amaechi has persistently denied the allegations against him.[16] In 2018, he acknowledged that despite Buhari's anti-corruption war corruption exists within the administration.[17]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Judith Amaechi and they have three boys. He is a Catholic and a Knight of the order of Saint John (KSJ)

Awards[edit]

Amaechi holds the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Governor of Rivers State". Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  2. ^ Ukpong, Michael (11 December 2015). Igbo Culture and Gospel. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 115. ISBN 3643905297.
  3. ^ Okoroike, Columbus (2009). Igbos of Nigeria and Their Cultural Ways:Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, Customs, Language and Social Life. iUniverse. p. 171. ISBN 0595621406.
  4. ^ "The story of Port Harcourt city". Vanguardngr.com. Vanguard Media. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  5. ^ Abia, Daniel. "2015 and Rivers' banana politics". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on 2014-05-25. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  6. ^ Admin. "#OBFocus! Rotimi Amaechi- Honorable Minister for Transportation, Federal Republic of Nigeria". Onebello. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Governor of Rivers State". Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  8. ^ Edozie, Victor. "Rivers' Multi-billion Naira Power Project Rots Away". Daily Trust. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  9. ^ editor (2018-09-20). "Buhari Reappoints Amaechi Campaign DG". THISDAYLIVE. Retrieved 2020-05-28.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Full list of Buhari's ministerial nominees". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  11. ^ "Amaechi, Akpabio, Four Others 'Take A Bow' As Senate Screens Ministerial Nominees". Channels Television. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  12. ^ "Ngige, Amaechi, Sirika, others retain portfolios". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  13. ^ "Amaechi fires back: Wike corrupt; I won't appear before his commission". Vanguard News. 2015-08-30. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  14. ^ Ukpong, Cletus (2017-07-31). "We have overwhelming evidence of corruption against Amaechi, says Wike | Premium Times Nigeria". Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  15. ^ Ukpong, Cletus (2017-07-31). "We have overwhelming evidence of corruption against Amaechi, says Wike | Premium Times Nigeria". Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  16. ^ Opejobi, Seun (2017-04-30). "I'm not corrupt, don't like money - Amaechi [VIDEO]". Daily Post Nigeria. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
  17. ^ "Amaechi: I'd be foolish to say there's no corruption under Buhari". TheCable. 2018-02-16. Retrieved 2020-07-15.

External links[edit]