FOURTEEN days after the controversial election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was held, the crisis surrounding the outcome is yet to abate.
Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has declared that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is the authentic chairman of the body and not Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State “because 19 of us during the election, out of 35, voted for Governor Amaechi”.
Adamawa is one of the states (the others Yobe and Borno) that President Goodluck Jonathan declared emergency rule on May 14.
“I don’t know what the controversy is all about. We voted for Governor Amaechi. Or let me say 19 of us voted for him and he is the authentic chairman of the NGF. Nothing or nobody can change that. What some governors are saying after the election is irrelevant because everybody voted during the election. You were either for Governor Amaechi or Governor Jonah Jang. Governor Amaechi got 19 votes while Governor Jang got 16 votes. So, what exactly are they saying?
“The election was conducted in a free and transparent manner and was even videotaped. I don’t know what made Yuguda to be angry but, for all I know, Yuguda should have been happy for being part of an election that was conducted in a free and transparent manner. I recognise Amaechi as the substantive chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum on the ground that he won the election fair and square. We are going to attend any meeting summoned by him. I expect all governors to avail themselves at any meeting convened by Amaechi as he is the duly-elected chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. But be that as it may, it is not compulsory for anyone to attend. But I believe those with high democratic spirit will attend the meeting because Amaechi is the elected chairman of Governor’s Forum.
“I respect Governor Nyako but he remains a floor member of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and is even expected to attend any meeting convened by Amaechi. As a democrat, my expectation of the governor of Plateau State is that whenever Amaechi convenes a meeting, he should avail himself in respect of democratic tenets which were driven from the spirit of fair election. And if he does not attend any meeting called by Amaechi, his refusal will not prevent Amaechi from carrying out his functions. The action will only be a bad precedence”.