Following the release of a series of tapes on the internet where the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi is quoted to have said that people are dying, poverty is increasing and that things have gotten worse since Buhari assumed office in 2015, a former aide to the Minister, Ibim Semenitari has spoken in defence of the Minister.
According to a post on her Facebook page on Monday, the former Rivers Information Commissioner in dismissing the tapes as a clear case of cut and paste, alleged that the leaked recording was extracted from “different conversations taken out of context and brought together to create a narrative that is far from the truth, adding that she was saddened by the fact that a purported conversation meant in the first place to be not for reportage and in strict confidence is being peddled.
“Anyone who has sat with Amaechi in private discussions or at a media interview will agree that he has been consistent in expressing the belief that most Nigerians do not hate corruption but simply hate the fact that they are not the ones perpetuating the corruption. This has been his view expressed at different times in press interviews. It is for this reason that he has maintained that only a bloody revolution somewhat like the Rawlings revolution in Ghana will change Nigeria,” she wrote.
While explaining that she felt compelled as someone who had sat in at myriads of interviews granted by the minister both when he was governor and a little while after that to correct what she deemed a deliberate twist of what he had said, Semenitari noted that “the Honourable Minister has also on some occasions spoken about the frugality of the Buhari regime but he did so not in the context of negativity, rather as a positive indication of a new Nigeria where pain will ultimately translate to gain.”
Responding to the part of the recording where the former Governor allegedly referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as an ignoramus, who neither takes advice nor reads to acquire information, Seminitari said: “During the Jonathan era, he had made these comments at various media discussions during which time he had also lamented about the former President’s refusal to listen and take counsel. Media colleagues at these events I am sure will remember. It is for this reason that I am certain the first recording was from one of those parleys.”
Although the minister is yet to officially react to the news of the leaked recording, the tapes have however continued to generate mixed reactions from Nigerians across political divides with majority of them, urging him to resign from his position as a cabinet minister in the Buhari administration and the Director General of the president’s re-election campaign.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.