Temitope Babs, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, has accused Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, of blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for his own failure, according to SaharaReporters.
After the Abuja-Kaduna rail attack, which occured on Monday, Amaechi told journalists during an interview that he had predicted the attack and presented a memo to Federal Executive Council for the procurement of security equipment but it was rejected.
Minutes of the meeting sighted by SaharaReporters marked EC (2021) 236 on September 24, 2021, presided over by Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, at a time when the President was out of the country for the United Nations General Assembly, showed that Amaechi proposed that a two-year-old company, which has a father, mother and child as its directors, should be given the contract worth N3.7billion.
Incorporated on August 6, 2019 by Prince Godwin Momoh, Chioma Momoh and George Momoh, the firm had a turnover of only N84.9m.
Reacting in a statement on Saturday, Babs accused the minister of blaming the attack and failures of his ministry to secure the lives of Nigerians using the facility on his ‘colleagues’ and by extension the Nigerian Government.
He added that Amaechi had been fingered for procuring low quality and out of use locomotives coaches into the country and if he had opted for a digital train, the bandits won't have gained unhindered access to the train from outside whilst in motion.
The statement reads, “The response of the Minister of Transport, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to the sad occurrence at the Abuja- Kaduna rail line left a lot of Nigerians in shock. To some who are very familiar with his usual antics and ineptitude, it was rather an expected reaction from a man who is known for his usual attempt to rather cringe from realities and resort to apportioning blames.
“In his statement on Tuesday, the minister had blamed the attack and the failures of his Ministry to secure the lives of Nigerians using the facility on his ‘colleagues’ and by extension the Federal Government.
“While on an on-the-spot assessment of the scene, the minister showed no empathy at all to the victims of the attack, their families or Nigerians in general but he went on and on blaming every other person except himself. Isn’t it high time the Rotimi gave up his wool-gathering approach to solving problem?
“In spite of President Buhari's commitment to the rail revolution, his Transport Minister has rubbed tar on the project. Recall that the minister had been fingered for procuring low quality and out of use locomotives coaches into the country. If the minister had opted for a digital train, the bandits won't have gained unhindered access to the train from outside whilst in motion.
“How far can arrogance and clueless ness take Amaechi in today’s Nigeria? To begin with, we must accept the fact that vast swathes of our country are increasingly becoming bandit territories. Authorities, at all levels and in all spheres (traditional, religious, civic), need to ask themselves what they can and must do to change this narrative. We must also understand that in the face of a national tragedy, divisive rhetoric and bigotry stemming from petty politics will only compound our problem. In times like this, we must collectively commit to do all we can to take back our country from criminal gangs.
“The Abuja-Kaduna Road has been practically ceded to kidnappers who operate freely at several points along the expressway. Many have therefore opted for the train, considered to be safer and more convenient. Not anymore. Before last Monday’s attack, there had been attempts to breach security at the Kaduna Airport.
“Ameachi’s reaction is an affirmation that a leopard cannot change its spots.
The country's rail project is about to witness a repeat of his poor outing as governor in Rivers State for eight years where he had no legacy project to his name apart from white elephants projects littered across the state like the failed Shongai farms and the cable car construction from government house towards Mile 3 Market.
“The ministers' outburst adds credence to a leaked audio of him some time ago to a section of the media that the President doesn't read. With this coming from one that is arrogating to himself the sobriquet of ‘anointed’ successor without proven record of performance and ability to interpret the President's vision into reality, there is need to access individual’s antecedents before certain responsibilities are bestowed on them.
“Families of victims should take heart as this incident has gone down in history as rewarding to the Minister for Transport.
Rotimi has been enriched by the blood of innocent Nigerians to the tune of N3billion. While we await Chinese enforcement of their sovereignty clause after poor workmanship frittered away their billions of dollars loans granted Amaechi’s ministry.”