A former Minister of Transportation and leader of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, has apologised to the people of Igbo ethnic nationality over the loss of properties in the state after the 1967-1970 civil war.
He said whatever they lost, including houses, would be given back to them in due course.
Amaechi said since the Igbo who left their properties in Lagos and in the North were given back, the ones in Port Harcourt should not have been an exception.
He spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting between the APC governorship candidate in Rivers State, Tonye Cole, and the Igbo community in the state,
Amaechi stated, “I am sorry for the issue of abandoned properties. I have apologised to you when I became governor and I am still apologising. We are sorry.
“In the North, the Igbo, who returned after the war, were given back their properties, but here our people seized them and called them abandoned properties.
“The second thing I did as governor was to abolish the disparity in school fees between indigenes and non-indigenes. Thirdly, I instituted a scholarship for all, irrespective of state of origin, as long as you were in Rivers State. But when I left office, the next governor cancelled that scholarship on the premise that Igbo people were benefiting from it. I employed 13,200 teachers in this state and 3,000 of them were Igbo people.”
Amaechi asked the Igbo community to be courageous and come out en masse to vote for the APC candidate during the governorship election poll.
“Anything you have lost in this state through violence, whether house or properties, please write your name and phone number and give to us. We will give them back to you,” he said.
In his speech, the APC governorship candidate Cole, pledged that he would protect the interest and business of Igbo people in the state if elected.
“The future of Rivers State and Nigeria is at stake. Democracy is about giving people the right to chose their leaders. I am one of you; Igbo blood runs in me. My mum is Igbo, my wife is Igbo; you have nothing to fear,” he said.
Earlier, the Igbo community in Rivers State donated N20m to the APC governorship campaign in the state.