PREMIUM TIMES has obtained the third in a series of leaked audio recordings by Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s transport minister and the director general of President Mohammadu Buhari’s campaign team.
Mr Amaechi has been in the eye of a storm in the last 48 hours following the release of two earlier audio recordings where he expressed gloomy views about Nigeria and the administration of Mr Buhari.
In one of the recordings, which was shared with this newspaper by Phrank Shaibu, a spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar campaign, the minister was heard saying the president has failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians and that there was widespread suffering in the land.
Tolu Ogunlesi, a spokesperson of Mr Buhari, had dismissed the first leaked recording, saying Mr Amaechi was referring to immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan.
But after the release of the second audio, Mr Ogunlesi claimed the audio had been cleverly edited by a former aide of Mr Jonathan, Reno Omokri, to paint the minister and the current government in bad light.
However, on Monday evening, PREMIUM TIMES obtained another audio recording where the minister was heard badmouthing Lagos, the country’s commercial centre.
He described the nation’s former capital as a “glorified village”.
The minister said the city lacked basic infrastructure compared to Abuja, the country’s capital.
He added that the city has poor road network, no running water, and is infamous for vehicular traffic congestion.
“I live in Abuja, tell me where else we have infrastructure. Lagos is a glorified village. The only difference between Lagos and other cities is the fact that business is in Lagos, everybody is there doing business, so you can at least have food,” he said.
“If not tell me what else you have in Lagos? 1,000 plus megawatts. That’s all. That’s what you have. What else do you have? No water, there are no roads. When you hear traffic jams in Lagos or any part of Nigeria, where are there no traffic jams in Abuja? The reason why you meet traffic jams in Lagos is because there are no roads,” the former governor of Rivers State added.
Since 1999, when Nigeria returned to democratic rule, Lagos State has been exclusively governed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or parties, which formed the merger that birthed the APC.
Mr Amaechi’s comment is even made more ironical given the announcement earlier today by Mr Buhari’s announcement that a former governor of Lagos is in charge of his re-election campaign. Bola Tinubu is commonly seen as the man who decides whatever happens in Lagos.
Mr Tinubu is to supervise Mr Amaechi as he co-chairs the campaign organisation with Mr. Buhari.