Amaechi also said he did not sleep while fighting insecurity in the state so that Rivers people could sleep with their two eyes closed.
Amaechi made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with newsmen on Friday, in his Abuja residence.
The Transport minister said as at the time he assumed office in 2007, the security situation in the state was so bad and terrible that residents lived in palpable fear of their lives even as there was heavy military presence which forced people to raise their hands while they walked on the streets of Port Harcourt.
According to him, “Don’t forget when I became the governor, the people were living in fear. There was curfew. I had to make sure that the curfew end. Killings, kidnappings and all forms of criminality was everywhere in the State. There was a heavy military presence and people were walking with their hands raised up.
“I took away the Soldiers from the streets because I provided social and physical security. I enhanced the wage bill of the Police Force by paying them allowances, and all that was to protect the citizens and I created opportunities for people to get employed. So, I confronted those insecurity challenges and brought back hope and sanity to the State.
“I worked tirelessly with the security agencies and ensured that people could move freely and do their businesses without fear or molestation. Businesses started springing up again in all parts of the State and people could go to night clubs and live free, peaceful lives. I stayed awake and fought insecurity to a standstill for Rivers people to sleep”.
“I also focused on what I call social security. Social security includes creating employment for the people. I had said to people, the responsibility of government is to provide legitimate economy. The day you don’t provide legitimate economy for the people, they will provide for themselves illegitimate economy. What is illegitimate economy? Armed robbery, kidnapping, theft etc..,” he said.
Amaechi said contrary to the successes achieved by his administration in Rivers State, the present security situation in the state has worsened under Governor Nyesom Wike as people were now been kidnapped on a daily basis.
Amaechi further explained that though his achievements in Rivers State were numerous ranging from free health care, free education, construction of roads etc, of note to him also is human capital development as both indigenes and non indigenes resident in the State were beneficiaries of his administration’s Overseas Scholarship programmes and training.
According to Amaechi, ” I feel very excited when people walk up to me and say, Sir, I am James, I studied A,B,C in the U.K. or US due to your scholarship programme. The first tool to a successful society is human capital development, that’s why I didn’t take education lightly. I had about 28% budgetary allocation for education. So, I did all those things to ensure that we reduce crime.”
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