Former Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has accused ex-president Goodluck Jonathan of unilaterally increasing the country’s fuel subsidy claim to N1.9 trillion during his administration’s tenure from the N300 billion it was during the late president Umaru Yar’Adua’s government.
Amaechi at a reception organised for him by a Committee of Friends at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, also said that the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in this year’s general elections was engineered by God.
He said: “The fuel subsidy was N300 billion under former president Olusegun Obasanjo and it remained the same under the late president Yar’Adua. Within six months under president Jonathan, the fuel subsidy rose from N300 billion to N1.9 trillion. Yet, Jonathan wanted more money for fuel subsidy.
Choosing the path of honesty
“Is it that the country now doubled its population or bought more machines or started manufacturing? As chairman of Governors Forum, I was in a position to get my share of the N1.9 trillion but I chose the path of honesty and truth. You cannot catch me being dishonest.
“There was a time I walked into a meeting with the president (Goodluck Jonathan) and at the meeting, the argument was that they wanted more money for oil subsidy. As the chairman of Governors Forum, I stood my ground and told the president I was not going to support that.
“He asked me why and I explained that we were already in court on the issue of fuel subsidy. The president abused the hell out of my life. I have huge respect for the president, but the only thing that made me disagree with him was on the issue of the management of the country’s treasury.
On anti-South South allegation
“I told the president then that those who were accusing me of being anti-South South will come out and tell the world the development that has happened to the South South under his presidency. The president confirmed it himself during the campaign that he has done nothing, he said: “I know I’ve done nothing but if you vote for me, I’ll do…” So I call him “I’ll do president.”
“This prompted the trouble between me and the Jonathan administration.”
Face-off with Jonathan
Recalling his face-off with Jonathan, he stated that the genesis of their differences dated back to when the former president reduced the allocation due to Rivers State from N20 billion to a paltry N6 billion, adding that he never worked against the South South zone.
He alleged that the current government of his state under Governor Nyesom Wike was working against his being appointed a Minister on the grounds that he would determine the course of the state politics.
“Some people will say I betrayed the South South, I have no word for betrayal. May God not give me the ambition the current governor of Rivers State has, he can sell anybody. God should rather put me to death than to have an ambition to sell this country.
“The current governor of Rivers State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are afraid of me getting appointment at the national level, because that will determine the politics of Rivers State. They know that the current President abhors corruption and the only way to stop me from getting appointment is to paint that picture of corruption.
Not angry with blackmailers
“I’m not angry with the people who have come out to blackmail me. My anger is with Rivers people who know that I don’t like money and I expect them to get up and defend me that this is not in Ameachi’s character; that’s my anger. The Rivers people should stand up and tell this man to stop painting Ameachi black.
“I heard the PDP wants to address a press conference to tell the President not to give me appointment, that I’m corrupt. But they don’t know that appointment is not everything. If God is happy with me, I’m happy with my life,” he said.