Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun, on Monday eulogised the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi’s detribalised nature and said with people like him, Nigeria would be a better country.

Oba Balogun, who said the former governor of Rivers State shares the same attribute with him on oneness of Nigeria spoke while receiving the Minister and his entourage in his Alarere residence. Amaechi currently goes round the country to sensitize members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on his quest to secure the party’s presidential ticket for the 2023 presidential election.

Olubadan harped on the unity of the country, stressing that “irrespective of language, tribe or religion, we are all brothers and sisters. The Honourable Minister has over the years proved to be a true Nigerian and this falls in line with my belief and activities all through my life”.

Facing the entourage of the presidential hopeful which included both former and serving Senators and other political bigwigs, he said “I urge you all to support and encourage him. He has demonstrated the capacity to wedge the country together and I want to tell you that you are very much at home. Feel free to knock at my door anytime”.

Amaechi, in his short address said he didn’t belong to any geo-political bloc as far as his presidential ambition is concerned. ”I’m not Hausa/Fulani candidate, I’m not Yoruba candidate, I’m not Igbo candidate and I’m not even the Kalabari candidate, but a Nigeria candidate.

“As said by a member of my team, I come with experience having been two terms Speaker before becoming the state Governor for two terms during which I also served as the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, also for two terms”, Amaechi stated.

Recalling how he turned things around in Rivers State while governing the place and made it a safe haven for both people and businessess, the presidential hopeful said he succeeded by creating alternative to criminality.

According to him, “whoever is conversant with Rivers State would attest to it that the place witnessed a turn-around during my tenure and this was made possible by creating alternative to criminality. Whatever you do, if people are not engaged towards ministering to their welfare, crime will thrive.

“As a firm believer in Nigerian project, my cabinet as the state Governor had a sizable number of non-indigenes as members. Two Permanent Secretaries were non-natives of Rivers State to demonstrate my detribalised nature. If by the grace of God I become the President of this country, I possess all what it takes to make Nigeria better”, the presidential hopeful added.

Following the two requests of naming a railway station after an Ibadan indigene and completion of the Ibadan Inland Dry-Port made to the Minister by the President-General of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Prince Oluyemisi Adeaga and Sen. Kola Balogun respectively, Hon. Amaechi promised that a station would be named after an Ibadan indigene, but it won’t be within Ibadan railway corridor.

On the Dry-Port, the Minister also promised that the final approval for the commencement of the project would be sought and got from the Federal Executive Council before the end of May this year, a promise that drew wild applause.

Babatunde Tiamiyu

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