Some Nigerians living in the Spanish capital city of Madrid, on Friday attacked the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi while on national assignment. Amaechi said he escaped the scene of the attack and left unhurt.
“Some minutes ago, I was attacked by a few misguided Nigerians while on national assignment at a climate change event in Madrid, Spain. They were quickly repelled by the Spanish police before they could do any harm. I am fine. I was not hurt. Thanks for your support & prayers,” Amaechi tweeted on Friday afternoon.
Amaechi was in the Spanish capital as part of the Nigerian delegation to the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25. The 25th United Nations Climate Change conference is being held in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019 under the presidency of the Chilean government.
Sources in the Spanish capital told Huhuonline.com that Amaechi’s ordeal was not unconnected with the ex-governors’ sleazy pensions, after a federal high court ruling directing the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to ensure affected former governors serving as ministers and senators to refund pensions cash they have collected so far from their state governments.
Amaechi had on Thursday denied receiving pensions as the former governor of Rivers state. “I have never requested for or collected one kobo as pension from R/State Govt,” Amaechi said on Twitter on Thursday. “If offered, I will politely decline & request that the money should be given to Rivers State pensioners.” But Amaechi said no pension has been paid to him by Rivers States. “I do not believe that I should receive pension as ex-gov of R/State while serving as a minister,” he said.
But sources told Huhuonline.com that the Nigerians who are hustling to earn their keep in Spain were not impressed with the executive criminality and saw Amaechi as the most concrete evidence of the profligacy of many Nigerian public office holders who do not aim to serve (as public servant) but to loot the commonwealth; arrogating outlandish emoluments to themselves which they draw from state treasuries for a mere four or eight years of public “service.”
“I am not from Rivers; I am from Lagos state but as Nigerians, we must end this mindless rape of public wealth by former Nigerian leaders - former heads of state, former chief justices, -indeed all kinds of quacks who happen to have held public office,” one of Amaechi’s assailants, who elected anonymity told Huhuonline.com by phone. “A January 2017 report calculated that ‘‘over N37.36 billion was …expended on servicing 47 former governors in 21 states as pension payments and other retirement benefits even though most of these people are still working either as Ministers or Senators.”
“I just read somewhere that in my state of Lagos, former governors like Tinubu, Fashola, Ambode are paid 100%; yes 100% of the basic salary of the incumbent governor; given a house in Lagos and Abuja; six cars every three years and all expenses paid medical treatment for the governor and his family members abroad. These greedy thieves also receive 300%; yes 300% of their annual basic salary for furniture allowance, 10% as maintenance allowance, 20% utility allowance, and 30% car maintenance allowance. All this is happening in Nigeria which is the poverty capital of the world where Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and kidnappers reign supreme; a country where there are not enough police officers to secure life and property, yet a former governor is assigned eight policemen and two DSS security operatives to protect them. And these are only for the governors. Look Amaechi is lucky to have escaped here alive,” the source blurted angrily.
It should be recalled that Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was also assaulted in faraway Nuremberg, Germany, leaving him with a torn shirt. The proscribed Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) claimed responsibility for that assault and vowed to attack more Nigerian officials who travel abroad. Videos of Ekweremadu’s humiliation went viral on social media and most commentators, like those on Amaechi viewed it with sadistic relish and infantile gloating. It was a sad and embarrassing spectacle watching a state official being manhandled in such a brutal manner outside the shores of Nigeria, rescued only by the kind intervention of some organisers of the program the senator went for.
Huhuonline.com understands that this year’s annual UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP25, will bring together 29,000 officials and activists, including 50 heads of state. Ahead of the conference, UN Secretary-General António Guterres underlined the meeting’s urgency, saying the climate crisis could soon reach the “point of no return.”
At COP25, delegates from nearly 200 countries are expected to nail down some details left open by the 2015 Paris climate accord, including how carbon-trading systems and compensation for poor countries with rising sea levels will work. The conference was originally scheduled to be held in Brazil and then Chile, but the election of climate-change-denying President Jair Bolsonaro and the protests in Santiago changed those plans. Spain agreed to host last month.