Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Rotimi Amaechi
Rotimi Amaechi say his refusal to support Goodluck Jonathan to secure the support of governors review of subsidy payments was the reason why they fell apart.
He also revealed that the former President asked him not to seek re-election as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum because of his principled stand against the unjustified depletion of a common patrimony.
He further disclosed that GEJ also presided over the taking away of oil wells belonging to the people of Rivers State, a situation which adversely affected the state’s revenue base.
“When the trouble between me and the former President started, as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the oil subsidy was N300bn under President Obasanjo. It remained the same under Yar’Adua. Six months of President Goodluck Jonathan, the oil subsidy rose to N1.9trn. Is it that the country now doubled its population or bought more machines or started manufacturing?
As the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, I was in a position to get my own share of the N1.9trn, but I chose the part of honesty and truth; you cannot catch me being dishonest.
There was a time I walked into a meeting with the former President (Goodluck Jonathan) and in the meeting, the argument was that they wanted more money for oil subsidy. As the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, I stood my ground and told the then President I was not going to support that.
He asked me why and I explained that we are already in court with you on the issue of fuel subsidy. The ex-President abused the hell out of my life. I have huge respect for the President, but the only thing that made me disagree with him was on the issue of the management of the country’s treasury.”
At a reception dinner organised in his honour by his friends on Sunday Night in Abuja, former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi has said his refusal to support ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan’s bid to secure the support of governors for an upward review of subsidy payments was one of the reasons why they fell apart.