…as image laundering video surfaces
* He’s most qualified, reliable Buhari ally – DG TNFI
*Loved by all, a bridge builder, says Sani Abubakar
*We’ll support candidate who has North’s interest – ACF
Even with almost three years still left for President Muhammadu Buhari to serve out his term, a group by the name ‘Think Nigerian First Initiative (TNFI)’ has begun to sell Transportation Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi to the North, as a possible successor to Buhari in 2023.
TNFI commissioned a popular female musician Sadiya Yarima to do a video clip listing the qualities of Amaechi as a friend of the North and a reliable ally of Buhari, who has demonstrated over the years that he is a patriot. The almost nine-minute video clip, which was done in Hausa language in order to appeal to its target audience, has gone viral.
A stanza from the all-female vocalists group goes thus: ‘Get up and let’s go our Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, a patriot and trusted Nigerian.
‘No one can separate us, a reliable Buhari ally.
“Your performance is stellar. You are our pride.
“You are a bridge builder loved by North and South.
“You enriched transportation You constructed new railways in the country, we are happy with you.
A source close to a former governor of a South Westerns state at the same time Amaechi was in Rivers State, said the video is meant to wet the grounds for the project ahead of 2023.
“The campaigns have started in earnest,” our source said.
Our source explained: “There are permutations that Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State wants to run with Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi in 2023.
“There is the belief that the North is not comfortable with an Igbo presidency. It will be impolitic to have another person from the South West to run soon, especially since Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is from there and will have also been in office for eight years. So they believe that Amaechi is a cross breed. He is an Ikere from Rivers and Ikeres are Ibos as there are many of them who bear Amaechi. Going by the unwritten gentleman’s agreement of rotation to field a candidate from the South, Amaechi is seen as a candidate we can trust.
“Another thing to look at is the fact that he heads a cash cow ministry – Transportation under which you have the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Maritime Security Agency (NIMASA). So there is potential huge war chess to prosecute the election.
“Besides, they believe that it is payback time. He did not only direct the Buhari campaign organisation, he also funded it.”
However, for the People Democratic Party (PDP), it will continue to look at what the APC will do as a counter measure, look at who it will field as candidate before it will also anoint its own candidate.
There are underlying speculations that Atiku Abubakar may be on their way back to the APC. The Northerners are only waiting to see if the Southerners will seize the occasion and present a candidate of a south south extraction who will be acceptable to all. If not they will join the fray.
It will be recalled that Nasiru El-Rufai, recently said he will support a candidate only from the south.
Before then, Mamman Daura has said that it will be on merit and not turn by turn. They will continue to discredit people from the south and if they do not cease the moment they will in turn field a candidate from the North.
Attempts to get Amaechi and El-Rufai as well as the APC to comment on the said video proved abortive.
At the APC secretariat in Abuja, no one was willing to say anything on 2023. In Kaduna, text messages sent to the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary were not replied at the time of this report.
Also, Amaechi was unavailable as he was busy on inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project.