The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that corruption will return to the country “automatically” if Nigerians vote out President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Mr. Amaechi said this to journalists on Thursday at his office.
“Let me tell you, if we don’t win, corruption will come back automatically,” he said. “Nobody will beg it.”
He said members of his former party, which is now the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, have been “hungry” for four years because they are out of power.
“They have been out for four years and they have never been out of government before; PDP never left government, so now they are hungry. Not hungry for power, in fact, if you tell them that I want to keep power and I will give you money, they will say take power and give us the money,” he said.
He said reelecting Mr. Buhari will however not be an easy task because of the perception of Nigerians that the president had failed to meet the high expectations of Nigerians that led to his election in 2019.
“It was not easy last time but it will be more difficult now. Why it would be difficult, more difficult? Expectations were too high, and a lot of people felt that we did not meet those expectations but they are not looking at what it takes to meet those expectations,” he said.
He also admitted that there is corruption in the present government but however said it cannot be compared to what obtained during the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
“I will nearly be a foolish man to say that there is no corruption in this government, but compare the magnitude if there is any,” he said.
“Before it was with impunity. Now there are consequences for stealing.
“For any reason, we lose the election, you the young ones are taking yourselves and Nigeria 10 steps backwards because the elites who left through PDP are waiting in the wind.”
Mr. Amaechi is the immediate past governor of Rivers state. He also served as the campaign director of Mr. Buhari in 2015.
Although Mr. Buhari has yet to publicly declare his intention to seek re-election, insiders have said Mr. Amaechi has been appointed to lead the campaign again.