- Great in resilience!
Movers and shakers in Alausa, the Government seat of Lagos State would today roll out the red carpet, wine and dine in celebration of a State marking its Golden Jubilee. Maritime Stakeholders and friends of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi would similarly roll out the drums today, go full blast, in celebration of a man of Courage!
Birthday mates! And ironically shared striking similarities! The movement of the Capital to Abuja has not denied Lagos of its shines. Same as his movement from Port Harcourt as Rivers State Governor has not denied Amaechi an ounce of relevance, as a Minister with core portfolio.
Remarkably, both ride, celebrate and in fact, wax stronger through controversies!
If Lagos was born out of ‘oko’ or farm, Amaechi was born in 1965 at a village known as Umuordu-Ubima in Ikwerre ethnic nationality of the present Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria.
Upon graduation from the University, young Rotimi Amaechi started his working career as Public Relations Officer (PRO) with the Pamo Clinics and Hospitals Limited, Port Harcourt in 1988. It was at PAMO Clinic that he met with Dr Peter Odili, the former Governor of Rivers State, who was then the proprietor. This meeting became the key that made the tremendous difference in his life till today.
He joined the National Republican Convention (NRC), and was elected Secretary of the Party in Ikwerre Local Government Area. His political associates found him a humble, dynamic, vibrant and reliable young man to work with.
Rotimi was discovered to be a serious political thinker, strategist, planner, and quite dependable. His believes in hardwork, and his political efforts paid off in 1992, when he was appointed a Special Assistant to the then Governor of Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada-George and also Special Assistant to the then Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir Dr. Peter Odili, who later became the Governor of Rivers State for eight consecutive years from 1999 to 2007. Amaechi was appointed Director of two State-owned companies, namely: Risonpalm Limited and West African Glass Industries Limited.
Upon the collapse of the Third Republic, he formed the Ikwerre Forum, a Socio-Cultural and Political organization geared towards the mobilization of Ikwerre people in the new political dispensation. When party politics returned, he joined the All Nigeria Congress (ANC) and was appointed State Administrative Secretary. Following the non-registration of that party, he joined the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) where again his Political acumen which saw him appointed as State Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of the party.
With the death of Gen. Abacha and the emergence of a new Political order, he joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on which platform he contested for a seat in the Rivers State House of Assembly in 1999. Being successful at that election; he became a member of the State Assembly representing Ikwerre Constituency and was unanimously elected Speaker. His sparkling performance was esteemly commended, and he was re-elected for an unprecedented second term. It is described as unprecedented because in his Ikwerre constituency, no one individual in history has been elected for two consecutive times into the State House of Assembly. He was also unanimously returned as Honourable Speaker of the House.
During his times as Speaker, the Assembly experienced the best of relationships with other organs of government. There was relative peace and harmony which provided the ambiance for business activities to thrive unhindered. Several laws and resolutions that touch the lives of the citizenry positively in all spheres of life were passed. Under his able leadership, the the Rivers State Assembly was widely acclaimed as the best State Assembly in Nigeria. This was made possible by his patriotism, industry, loyalty and dedication to duty. These qualities made him worthy of the confidence of his colleagues. He became the first Speaker to preside over the Rivers State House of Assembly for an unbroken period of eight (8) years.
He is deeply involved in the activities of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and has attended several of its programmes in its headquarters in London. He is a member of the National Stakeholders Working Group of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), a body constituted by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was the pioneer Chairman of Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, a position he held for a record two terms.
He was the Governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015. During his tenure, the State achieved giant Strides in Educational Sector, Trade and Investment, Infrastructure development and promotion of Human Capital development.
He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015 as the Honourable Minister of Transportation.
Appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Ban ki Moon to serve as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) for a Three Years Term beginning from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018.
- Assoctiated Fellowship of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), June 2014
- 2013 Quintessence Leadership Award, by African Writers Foundation, USA
- Reelected Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, May 2013 till date
- Honourary Causa Award of Doctor of Letters, (Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto), December 2012
- 2012 Vangaurd Personality of the Year, by Vangaurd Newspaper
- Elected Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, 2011 to 2013
- National Merit Award – Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) 2011
- ThisDay Award of Excellence for Good Governance 2011
- Zik Leadership Award (Good Governance and Leadership 2011)
- Chairman, Presidential Task Force on the Qualification of Nigeria’s Super Eagles for the 2010
It would also be recalled that he passed through the arduous fireworks of the justice system, a very long tortuous road that took almost nine (9) months to earn him the needed justice at the Nation’s Supreme Court on the 25 October, 2007 from where he was declared winner of the governorship election in Rivers State. He had his mandate restored back and was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Rivers State.
Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, is a practicing Christian, who in demonstration of his belief in the tenets of Christianity was conferred with the Papal Knighthood of St. Sylvester by Pope Benedict XVI, and is married to his beloved heartthrob, Judith. The marriage is blessed with three sons.