Looting the wealth of the nation is done quietly under President Muhammadu Buhari, Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi says.
Mr Amaechi stated this in an interview with Daily Trust while comparing the practice of stealing under the present and past administrations.
The former Rivers State governor who condemned the act said looters under previous administrations were flaunting their ill-gotten wealth publicly without being penalized.
“Can you openly take money in this government?” he queried. “In the past governments, what happened? You can take money in the streets. Corruption was so pervasive that nobody was talking about it.
“It was not hidden that people completely and openly displayed their wealth. They did not have a carpentry shop, but they were billionaires. They did not hide it; but here, if you are stealing, it is done quietly. I am not saying it is good, it is a sin punishable,” he added.
The minister also said the failure of political elites to build infrastructure before the coming of the Buhari-led federal government have forced them to relocate out of their states
He said the president’s decision to build infrastructure should be commended otherwise the youths will one day drive away everyone at the nation’s capital which is still seen as being safe.
“What the president is saying is: let us create infrastructure. The president would ask how we feel when we get to Cape Town. You will be ashamed being a Nigerian because the political elites have burnt our resources and not able to put infrastructures on ground,” the All Progressive Congress APC chieftain said. “The only thing you will hear of Nigeria is that you should come to Abuja; that it is a fine city. But Abuja does not feed anybody. If we are not careful, we will be chased out of Abuja.
“In the past, when I was the speaker and later, governor, I said we would wake up one day and the young boys we deprived would chase us out of town. How many big men are still living in their states? They have all run away. Everybody is here in Abuja, which is protected because the president is here. One day, the boys will be courageous and we will be on the run.
“If we don’t follow what the president is saying by not only diversifying the economy but also putting the necessary infrastructures in place, there will be no need to stay together as Nigerians,” he added.
Amaechi said he has no political ambition in 2023 and will go into teaching after returning to school to obtain a PhD.