Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said that the South-South region of Nigeria cannot oppress the rest of the country.
Amaechi also told residents of the area not to vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) if the party doesn’t develop the region.
The minister made the comments during a town hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, on Monday, June 13, 2016.
“It is part of a nation called Nigeria. You cannot continue to shoot against yourselves and think you will survive. You cannot continue to do the things you are doing and expect a different result. You cannot intimidate Nigerians. Don’t forget I was governor; I was never intimidated in Rivers state,” he said.
“So if we are fighting a cause, can we now sit down and know what that cause is, who will be the beneficiary, what we did when we had the opportunity to make decisions? Now you are saying, ‘Ask them’.
“It’s time to move forward. If we start the blame game, we would do it for four years and we wouldn’t have done anything and people don’t care about the blame game anymore.
“The reason why you voted for us is the reason why you are blaming the other people. Having voted for us, it means you heard us when we were campaigning that these people have failed and failed us.
“In fact I was very excited when your governor made his speech; I said this is a new convert. Now I can hear your governor say a similar thing. He’s using a different word. He is saying we want development.
“If we don’t give you development, next time, don’t vote for us. What development do we want to give you from my ministry? One of my offence in the south-south was that there we have no roads; this east west road was not constructed.
“We are proceeding with Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar. This year, we will commence with Lagos-Kano and then we’ll start with Lagos-Ibadan. Between this year and early next year, we will start with Calabar to Akwa Ibom.
“The idea is not only because we want to drive up the economy of the south-south people but we also want to convey passengers and goods from Calabar to Uyo so that once the roads are bad, passengers can use other means of transportation. That is our vision for the next two to three years,” he added.
The town hall meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.