By Dennis Udoma, Uyo
A socio-political group in Southern Nigeria, Southern Mandate Group (SMG) has endorsed the Minister of Transportation, Chief Chibuike Amaechi for presidential race in 2023, saying, his experiences in leadership across the many administrative positions recommended him for the nation’s number one office.
The group made the declaration at their emergency meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital on Tuesday. The CSO’s drawn from the 11 states in the South-South and Southeast regions declared that the former Rivers’ governor has all the credentials to succeed the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2023.
The stakeholders’ meeting led by the President-General, Comrade Chibuikem Asuzu and the National Secretary, Comrade Patrick Jasper Uduefe,, endorsed Amaechi, as “a befitting aspirant for the job.
According to the group, “having studied his performance in various positions as the two-term Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly; governor for two terms; Chairman Nigeria’s Governors Forum; Minister for over six years, we in the coalition of Southern CSOs have declared and affirmed supports for Mr. Amaechi.
“We have resolved that the Southern block should ensure someone who has the capacity with inner love for the development of the country and capable of fostering national cohesion should be supported to lead the country.
“It is time for the electorate to “rise above petty sentiments of ethnicity, nepotism and other discriminatory factors, to sustain the tempo of developments as engineered by President Buhari since 2015.
“We are staunchly in support of Amaechi and our hope is the Presidency be zoned to Southern Nigeria in the greater interest of equity, fair play and justice”.
“As far as Nigeria’s unity is concerned, Amaechi has demonstrated his disposition to the oneness and unity of Nigeria through his advocacies concerning the indivisibility of Nigeria.
“During his era as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Amaechi did not run the forum as his personal estate but used the platform effectively to unite all political parties and groups for larger national interests.
“It was during the period that all the governors on the platform of all political parties had to bury every political sentiment for the unity and peace of the country, irrespective of any political affiliations.
“As a Minister since 2015, Amaechi’s record of performance is outstanding. He has been able to connect Nigeria from Abuja down South with rail lines criss-crossing the major cities in Nigeria.
The Minister has distinguished himself in every national assignment within his office by helping President Buhari to achieve important milestones in national development by ensuring major aspects of the government policies and programmes were implemented”, the group stressed.
Comrade Asuzu, who commended President Buhari for ensuring the unity of Nigeria amid pockets of security breaches in parts of the country, assured that “Amaechi will consolidate and bring total peace and unity in Nigeria.
“Amaechi is a strong nationalist with total devotion to fixing the country by consolidating on the achievements of President Buhari,” he added and vowed to set aside a day for a peaceful rally to impress it on the Minister to run in 2023.
“We will soon come up with a date for all well-meaning Nigerians desiring peace, development and unity through good governance to demonstrate for the Minister of Transportation, a true son of the South, to fly Nigeria’s flag in 2023”, he stressed.