He said this during the public presentation of a book titled “Dynamics of Change: The Amaechi Years,” which is a compilation of his achievements as governor. The book was presented in Lagos on May 14, 2015.
“I knew I was going to be in trouble. Anything that would cause that change not to take place, I was ready to make that sacrifice. The federal government sent out a signal that if they won nobody should let me out of Nigeria from any airport.
”One day Asiwaju got angry with me. He was very angry. I went to his house with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and knelt down, saying ‘please let’s not disagree, let’s win first and then we can disagree.
“I lost my passport in Ghana and went to the High Commission. They gave me a certificate but the Ambassador was given a query for doing so. I later applied for a passport and they gave me green, not red. Now they have given it to me two weeks ago.
“I told Asiwaju that what is important is to make a history of the first civilian coup in Nigeria when your children and grandchildren read the history with your name as one of the people who helped bring about change in Nigeria. I said, let us focus on the victory.
“I remember the day of the convention, there were so many intrigues, there will be convention, there won’t be convention, I said my leader, if we don’t do the convention we are finished, the press will say APC cannot hold a convention, lead us now, there must be convention and election. So, he turned to me and said look for Tunde (Fashola), let us go.”
Professor Wole Soyinka, who wrote the foreword of the book, said:
“The political atmosphere today, whatever you call it, change or hope, or cautious or careless hope, I recognize two individuals who led the change. One of them I call him the architect of that process, he is Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
“The arrowhead of the charge that led to the change is the man we are gathered here to honour. It is basic arithmetic fallacy of governance when 16 is said to be higher than 19, something is fundamentally wrong.
“Governor Amaechi stood up and challenged even his own colleagues saying, let us change the orientation of the nation. Somebody once said to me to tell the young man that he was going to destroy himself that he should slow down. Of course I didn’t deliver the message.”