The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has announced his interest to contest the presidential election in 2023.
He made the announcement on Saturday while addressing a crowd of supporters and leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at an event in Port Harcourt.
Amaechi was giving a speech titled, ‘Forward With Courage’ at a thanksgiving service held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in the Rivers State capital.
“Fellow Nigerians, I stand before you today to declare my intention and submit my application to serve as your next president,” he declared to the cheers of hundreds of party faithful at the event. “I did not come to this decision lightly, I have served our nation for the last seven years as minister of transportation.
“Eight years before that, I served as governor of Rivers State; in the preceding eight years before that, I was Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. With in this period, I have also served as the Director-General of President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s campaign organisation twice.”
The minister believes his 23 years of service in various capacities have equipped him with great experience in governance and public service.
He added that the period has afforded him the opportunity to show compassion for the ordinary citizens of the country.
“After more than two decades in the public arena, I had wanted to go on a holiday and spend more time with my family before charting a new course outside politics, but at 56 … I am compelled by the urgency of our present challenges to place my experience and proven capacity at the service of the nation at the highest level,” Amaechi said.
Some of the party chieftains at the event include Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Others include the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, as well as former governors and lawmakers elected on the platform of the ruling party.
With his declaration, Amaechi is expected to vie for the APC presidential ticket alongside former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu; Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, among others at the party’s primary.