Amaechi abandons Ministry of Transport, relocates to Rivers state

By Amako Nneji March 17, 2016 13:06

Amaechi abandons Ministry of Transport, relocates to Rivers state

In stark contrast to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, the former Rivers State Governor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has “secretly” absconded from his official duty and relocated to Rivers State, ahead of the March 19, Federal and State Legislative polls in the state, Post-Nigeria has authoritatively gathered.

The curiosity of Post-Nigeria to track the whereabouts of Amaechi came on the hills of political tension and apprehension in Rivers state, ahead of the re-run elections.

Consequently, Post-Nigeria’s enquiry revealed that Amaechi has absconded from his official assignment at the Ministry of Transportation for almost a week.

The Rivers state re-run election will be holding on March 19, in the three senatorial districts, 11 House of Representatives and 22 State Assembly seats.

A senior staff in the ministry of transport, who confided with our correspondent said, “As I speak to you, we have not seen the minister for days. He has been off duty. I think he is in Rivers State ahead of the Saturday election.

“The minister has little or no role to play in the day to day running of the ministry. It is the permanent secretary and directors that call the shots here. So for Amaechi, he is missing in action. Remember, Buhari sometime ago called them noise makers.”

Although, political plaudits have criticized the manner in which a minister would abandon his official duty for weeks just for an election in which he is not a contestant.

Recall, that barely three weeks into office, Buhari had shocked Ministers with strict condition of service apart from pay cut.

These conditions of service for Ministers were contained in a letter that was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal.

The letter reads in part: “I am pleased to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has appointed you as a Minister in the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The appointment takes effect from 11th November, 2015 under the following Terms and Conditions of Service as contained in Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) (Amendment ) Act 2008.

“As a Political Office Holder, you must obtain permission from Mr. President before you travel out of Abuja. If the trip is official, Ministers are entitled to a Duty Tour Allowance of N35, 000 per diem. However, all private journeys will attract no Allowance.”

Report has it that Amaechi relocated to Rivers State, the same day the President traveled to Equatorial Guinea, without official permission granted, thereby going against the terms and conditions as required from a minister.

The Minister arrived Rivers state on Friday, March 11, amid marmot crowd stationed at the Port Harcourt International Airport.

On Sunday, March 13, the minister granted an interview to Love FM radio studio and Rhythm 93.7 FM, all in Port Harcourt.

During the interview sessions, he called for the resignation of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on account of the recent cult clashes in the state, which has heightened security concerns in the state. He also threatened to flood the state with soldiers during the election.

Related: Amaechi’s final ‘Emotional’ message to Rivers people

On Tuesday, March 15, Aamechi was in Lagos, where he granted an interview to Channels TV. During the programme, he reiterated that Governor Wike was not doing enough to protect lives and properties in the state.