The crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) continued on Thursday as the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) disowned one of its own and governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.
To the northern group chaired by Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was validly elected during the May 24 election in Abuja.
But the crisis took its toll on the Thursday meeting held in Kaduna as 14 of the 19 northern governors boycotted the meeting.
Aliyu, who read the communique after the meeting held at the General Hassan Katsina House, also dismissed threat by Bauchi State governor, Isa Yuguda, that he would never attend the meeting again because his northern colleagues betrayed Jang during the NGF meeting in Abuja.
Governors of Katsina, Yobe and Bauchi states stayed away from the Thursday meeting.
Eleven others sent representatives.
At the meeting were Aliyu, Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa) and the host governor, Mukhtar Yero.
Aliyu said: “Membership of Northern Governors’ Forum is voluntary. You cannot force anybody to attend our meeting. So, Governor Yuguda can stay away. He has not written us formally that he will not be attending meeting again so, we have decided to follow in that manner.
“The situation is that when people feel aggrieved, you don’t go back retaliating on what they have said, you said that is what he said, he did not write to this meeting and it is a voluntary organisation and we have resolved as a group to follow this informally, you did not hear any one of us reply him back the way you heard him.”
On the low turnout at the meeting, he said that most of the governors were busy with other state matters. “That is why they sent representatives. Most of their deputies are here. So, they are adequately represented.
“If I send my deputy to a place, whether I like it or not, whatever decision is taken there is part of my decision and I have been saying it loud and clear that if I die today, before I am even buried, my deputy will be sworn in and we have an example in Kaduna State here. So, sending a deputy did not reduce the level or the importance of any decision taken there.”
Aliyu insisted that the NGF election was held in Abuja and whatever controversy might arise from the exercise would be resolved.
Meanwhile, the North-West caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the suspension of Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State by the national body of the party.
Chairman of the North-West zone of the party, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, faulted the suspension, saying it was capable of destabilising the PDP.
To him, the national body should have explored other means of resolving the matter against Wamakko before the suspension order was slammed on him.
“Given the numerical strength of the party in the North-West, that decision is going to affect the party. The suspension is unfortunate. Very unfortunate. We would have done a wide consultation because we have enemies within. PDP is a party, not a club. It has its Constitution. I am not saying they are wrong. I am not saying what they have done is wrong but all I am saying is that there should have been a wide consultation before the action was taken. For a governor of a state where we have 100 per cent PDP supporters from the ward up to national levels, it is sad.
“I don’t think his suspension will affect the PDP but it will affect the candidature of the PDP because PDP as a party will remain a party because it is not a club. PDP gets stronger day by day. But the unfortunate thing is that when you train a lion and you begin to eat this person and that person, by the time everybody is finished, then what will happen next?
“I am calling on our leaders in PDP to please save us from the situation we are in because we have a very strong rival. North-West is the largest PDP zone in the country, even in the National Assembly. We have seven governors in the zone, so it is not a zone you can toy with.
“I am sorry for what happened but I hope the leaders will think about it. Religious sentiment is out of my dictionary God has already ordained who will be the next president. It is only God who knows who will be the next president. Not you, not me, not even anybody in Nigeria knows that.”
He further cautioned the people of the South-South geo-political zone against inflammatory statements that could affect the party’s chance in the 2015 general elections.