The Plateau governor and lawmakers from the state declared their support for Mr Amaechi at a parley in Jos.
For Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, and delegates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, nothing would interest them more than the emergence of Chibuike Amaechi as the party’s presidential flag bearer for the 2023 elections.
In a parley with the former Minister of Transportation and Plateau State APC delegates at the Government House Jos, Friday, Governor Lalong, who stated that the decision to adopt Mr Amaechi is in the best interest of the people of Plateau State and Nigerians, also mentioned that all former speakers and members of state Houses of Assembly have agreed to support and vote for Mr Amaechi.
He said Mr Amaechi has all the qualities of a good leader and would save the country from its insecurity problems as well as bring development to all parts of the country, adding that Plateau State has benefited a lot from Mr Amaechi and it is payback time.
“I was very happy when I saw behind you our past security chiefs, some of the best security chiefs we have had. I see chain of security experts following you because the challenge we have in Nigeria today is insecurity and I know that if you become president, with these people, there will be no insecurity in Nigeria,” the governor said.
“I now know and have confirmed that I was right when I followed you to make the declaration. You told me that it was going to be a thanksgiving, and I said to myself, If I go to that thanksgiving and come back, Plateau people will ask me, what were you doing there that you didn’t appeal to Amaechi to declare for President? You declared for President, and I will tell you some of the things that you didn’t say and why Plateau people should vote for you.
“In 2014, we were in PDP, we were chased out. When APC came, we were running round, we wanted to join APC, many people that are today coming to Plateau, said they would not admit Plateau people into APC, I ran round, you were in PDP, you said we should go and join APC, and we came back to join APC, they were chasing us round, you gave us the support to do registration. When we registered and we were going into the election, many people that are Presidential aspirants today, I went to all of them, I said we have APC on the Plateau and they said ‘no you will not go anywhere,’ when they put up the question for registration, nobody gave it to us, even in Nothern Nigeria. That is why I stand on the fact today in my State that because of what you did, I will not support a Nothern Candidate. I remember what you did when you came to APC, you said we must do more registration because you said you believed in President Buhari and you took five other Governors and came to APC, that was when we were allowed to come in as APC members.
“You assisted each of the Nothern States to do registration for the APC and we updated our registration. When we came back to Plateau to contest the general election, nobody supported us, but you did. I was the Governor and I was a candidate but you said no, as a friend, I like Plateau people and I must do my best. You invested in Plateau people and out of nowhere, we won the election. Not only myself, we have many members in the House of Assembly, we have members in the National Assembly. Something that nobody gave to us, you gave to us.
“Sir, you invested in Plateau State, that is why you are going to reap in Plateau State. We came back, we had security issues, you were our minister. My Minister at the Federal Executive Council, you were the one. Most of the developments, most of the approvals you saw from the President, it was this man Amaechi that was pushing for us. I was not worried, because I had a Minister in Amaechi. Everything that was discussed about Plateau State at the FEC he would be there, he would discuss it, if it is approval, we will get it. Amaechi was our Minister not minding that he is from Rivers State. We got almost everything.
“We came back again the second time, but at the time we were going for election again, we had a big challenge. I ran round people again. Everybody said to me that they don’t trust me. And I said to myself again, that the only man that trusted me is the DG Campaign of President Buhari. Amaechi came back again to rescue us, and today we are doing our second tenure.
“They mentioned railway, but you brought Shipper’s Council to us, you restored back our inland container (port) to us. So many things that you did. As I’m talking, the first set of people you took to China, seven of them are Plateau boys and very soon they are coming back as experts in Engineering. We can go on and on.
“What we want to tell you is that you have done it, this is the time for you to reap and you will reap it so that it would encourage others to come and do good in Plateau State.
“You are the first presidential aspirant to come and see us, when I invited others to come, they said they can’t come to Plateau because it would be a waste of time because Plateau people will not vote for them, but will vote for Amaechi. So, you didn’t need to talk much. We want to rely on somebody that has done it before. We are telling you so that you would not waste your time to come back for campaigns. We have taken our decision. You have done a lot for our people.
“We had already taken a decision, all former members of the Houses of Assembly took a decision that wherever you go, we would follow you. So if you calculate the number of former Speakers that we have in Nigeria, I think you already have 30 per cent votes,” he said.
Governor Lalong added that he studied and is still learning from Mr Amaechi, the art of good governance and project delivery, and assured him that Plateau delegate votes are his, already.
“The legacy project I was doing in Plateau, I studied from you. Sir, thank you for coming. In Plateau State, we have given you the spirit, we have given you the energy and we are very proud to say it anywhere. Those who are coming are only coming to tell us what would happen after you leave office as the President of Nigeria. But for you, you have done it and we will pay you back. Plateau is yours, we have given our endorsement already,” Mr Lalong said.
Accordingly, the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Yakubu Sanda, declared the Plateau State House of Assembly’s block support for Mr Amaechi.
“Your Excellency, the friend of our Governor, the man of courage, the man of determination, the man full of energy and capacity to represent not only Nigeria, but your efforts has actually demonstrated to the world that you can do what you can do. I have the privilege to move this historic motion and say categorically, that members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas, we have super delegates and national delegates all represented today, and what I’m doing today is an endorsement by the delegates of Plateau State.
“With their mandate, I want to use this opportunity to move a motion that having come to Plateau State and with all the things you have done for the people of Plateau State, with your kind permission, I want to move this motion that all the delegates coming from Plateau State have adopted you as the sole candidate that we are going to vote for, on the day of the election,” Mr Sande said.
Corroborating the Majority Leader, another member, Ibrahim Baba, seconded the motion “that Rt Hon. Amaechi is the only presidential aspirant we know on the Plateau.”
Also, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Yakubu Sandal, put up the question to the house on the motion. “Those who support that Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the sole candidate of the APC as accepted here on the Plateau, say Ai!’ And the crowd echoed in affirmation, ‘Ai!’
Earlier, the former transport minister had assured that he would bring to bear his wealth of experience in ensuring massive job creation, improving the health sector as well as equipping the security agencies to protect lives and enforce law and order.