I Stayed Awake As Governor For Rivers People To Sleep – Rotimi Amaehi
Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, says he stayed awake fighting insecurity while he was governor so the people of Rivers state could sleep.
In a statement on Friday, Amaechi, who governed Rivers from 2007 to 2015, said the residents of the state were living in fear when he resumed office.
The minister said he met a heavy military presence in the state as a result of widespread killings and kidnappings.
“Don’t forget when I became the governor, the people were living in fear. There was curfew,” Amaechi said.
“I had to make sure that the curfew end. Killings, kidnappings and all forms of criminality were everywhere in the state.
“There was a heavy military presence and people were walking with their hands raised up. I took away the soldiers from the streets because I provided social and physical security.
“I stayed awake and fought insecurity to a standstill for Rivers people to sleep.
“I enhanced the wage bill of the Police Force by paying them allowances, and all that was to protect the citizens and I created opportunities for people to get employed.
“So, I confronted those insecurity challenges and brought back hope and sanity to the State. I worked tirelessly with the security agencies and ensured that people could move freely and do their businesses without fear or molestation.
“Businesses started springing up again in all parts of the State and people could go to night clubs and live free, peaceful lives.”
Amaechi said security of property and human capital development were his key achievements as governor.
He said it brings him joy when he sees beneficiaries of his scholarship programme, which he said was initiated to curb crime.
The minister said as opposed to the successes achieved by his administration, the present security situation in the state has worsened under his successor, Nyesom Wike.
“I also focused on what I call social security. Social security includes creating employment for the people. I had said to people, the responsibility of government is to provide legitimate economy,” he said.
“The first tool to a successful society is human capital development, that’s why I didn’t take education lightly.
“I had about 28% budgetary allocation for education. So, I did all those things to ensure that we reduce crime.
“The day you don’t provide legitimate economy for the people, they will provide for themselves illegitimate economy. What is illegitimate economy? Armed robbery, kidnapping, theft.
“I feel very excited when people walk up to me and say, Sir, I am James, I studied A,B,C in the U.K. or US due to your scholarship programme.”