How I rejected N1bn bribe from a contractor — Amaechi

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Minister of Transportation, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed how he rejected N1 billion bribe from a contractor while serving as the Governor of Rivers State.

Amaechi made the disclosure while speaking at the First Annual Lecture of CKN News with the theme, “The Role of The Social Media in Socio-Economic and Political Development of Nigeria”, held in Lagos on Tuesday.

Amaechi said he rejected the bribe because of his principled stand on corruption.

According to him, “My first confrontation with bribe was with a big contractor in Rivers State. After awarding the contract, he brought a billion naira. I screamed. I asked, ‘Where did you get the money?’ and he said from what he got (from the contract) and I said, ‘Look, that means you over-quoted the contract’. I (also) said, ‘The only reason you are giving me N1 billion was because if the contract was N32 billion, you made it N37 billion’.

“I have been Special Assistant to the Governor for two years; Speaker, eight years; Governor, eight years; Minister nearly two years…that’s nearly 20 years. So I know Nigerian politics well. Very, very well.”

Speaking on the role of social media in Nigeria’s political and socio-economic development Amaechi said that in spite of its positive uses, the social media is capable of destroying Nigeria if not checked.

The Minister noted that so many politicians engage the social media to tarnish the image of their counterparts, saying that most of them engage young men to come up with stories that do not exist against their enemies in politics.

“When it was published that I own a property worth N50 million, I just waved it aside, that the news won’t go anywhere until it became serious,” he said, adding:

“The social media misinform the public, they don’t verify their information, they have no rules and they can publish anything. It is a tool that politicians use to damage the reputation of another politician.

“As a Governor, if you don’t want crime to continue, the best thing is to create wealth. The feedback the social media platform provides helps to check the efficiency of the government, and in the bid to create employment, politicians have made use of the platform to reach out to prospective candidates.

“Social media can destroy this country, true or false? Just look at Biafra; and that’s why Nnamdi Kanu can say all he is saying and still get a forum.

“Most politicians pay young men to post all sorts on social media.”

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