I joined politics because I was jobless – Amaechi

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Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, has revealed what pushed him into being a politician, saying grace guided him to rise to his present status politically.

In an interview with Punch Newspapers, the Rivers-born politician explained that joblessness drove him into politics as he was not initially in the game to be a leader.

The former Rivers State governor also said he would have been a broadcaster if his employment letter for a job he applied for had arrived earlier before he decided to join politics, all against the wish of his father, a politician who wanted him to be a lawyer.

“My father was a politician. He ran for councillorship during his time. However, I didn’t join politics because I wanted to be a leader or because I wanted to solve Nigeria’s problems. I joined because of unemployment. I also believe there is a part that grace played in it,” Amaechi said.

“I actually got auditioned at the Nigeria Television Authority to be a broadcaster. I recall that I walked into their office then and said I wanted to see a certain person. But the person I met asked me if I had been auditioned because I had a wonderful voice. I told him I hadn’t and he asked for me to be auditioned. However, before the employment letter came, I was already into politics. That saved me. I would have been a broadcaster by now,” he added.

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Mr Amaechi started his early political career as a member of Rivers State House of Assembly (RSHA) in 1999 and subsequently became the speaker of the house in 2003. He became famous for judicially resisting the National Assembly from hijacking the functions of the state parliament under his watch.

In 2007, he battered the relationship he had with the then state governor, Peter Odili, while seeking to succeed him in office. He finally succeeded in becoming governor, this was not after his then party, Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP) substituted his name as a governorship candidate but finally lost out at the Supreme Court.

In 2011, he sought re-election and won another four-year tenure which expired in 2015 before he was appointed a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari after he teamed up with the latter to dethroned the PDP which had been in charge of the country since the return to democracy in 1999.

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Nyesom Wike of the PDP became his successor during the 2015 governorship election, although the duo were not in good terms.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain was reappointed minister by his principal in 2019 but one unsuccessful attempts he made during the last election was to oust Mr Wike, who sought a second term in office.

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