We will increase the budget for ‘stomach infrastructure’ in Rivers – Amaechi
Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has reaffirmed his commitment to politics of development, providing dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
Amaechi spoke during an interview with Government House Correspondents on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on Thursday.
The governor said numerous projects executed by his administration across the State are geared towards meeting the needs of the people particularly in education and health care.
He noted that the people of the state do not require paying for healthcare services or educational opportunities as far as his administration is concerned.
“We will continue to champion the cause of all Rivers people by fulfilling their needs through projects implementation,” he said.
On the Ekiti governorship polls, Amaechi said while he would not disprove the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the fairness of the polls, he was disturbed by the militarization of the State during the election.
“From the INEC point of view, yes you can say it was fairly done, but what do you say about the military? The military officers were escorting PDP people sharing money and sharing wrappers, rice and beans; and that influenced. Arresting APC supporters especially those who were in the position to command votes and all that was also a factor.”
Asked what the PDP victory in Ekiti Governorship election means for Rivers State in 2015, Amaechi said the two states and their voting masses do not share similar features.
“Why not wait until 2015? You see, there are basic differences. The differences are, first, Ekiti is mostly a civil service town, so if the civil servants decide on one way then you have to go along that way.
The second thing is the fact that we’ve been oppressed enough in Rivers State. You virtually can see, we are in the airport, why not video the airport there to show its state? We have a situation where we don’t have development in Rivers State. Eighty per cent of development you have in Rivers State were done by me as governor of Rivers State and the fact that the Rivers man is trying to liberate himself. Now you have to be present at politics in the national level before you emasculate the Rivers man, coupled with the fact that the voters here have two clear choices to make. You either identify with God and His people or you identify with satan and his people. And I think we are godly to the extent that we’ve built schools that impact directly on the lives of the people.
“The education is free of charge. We don’t charge school fees either at the Primary or secondary school level. The university school fees is at its lowest level and we are providing free healthcare. This is what the people call partially ‘stomach infrastructure,’ then we will probably increase the stomach infrastructure which means we should be listening to what the people are saying. But I think the people took out their anger on the wrong person, because when you say stomach infrastructure, the Federal Government takes 56 per cent of the national revenue, what have they done with it? That is where they should be asking for stomach infrastructure, but because they relate directly with the governor, that is why they took out this thing on the governor, but you see, it discourages governors and you have to ask, ‘are we going to play development politics or we are going to play stomach politics?’ For me, I will continue with development politics,” Amaechi said.
Government House, PH.
June 26, 2014
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