Amaechi’s Victory and Its Effect on Jonathan’s 2015 Ambition By Salihu Tanko Yakasai
Yesterday, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), consisting of all the 36 state governors of the federation held its Chairmanship election. It is a non-constitutional but powerful body which has dictated the outcome of all the presidential elections right from party primaries to the general elections since 2003 to date. It is a body that has subjugated the entire country into continued suffrage as a result of decisions taken out of their selfish interests at the detriment of our national interest.
There have been several elections over the years, but none has generated so much interest in the country as this recent one, this is so because of the emergence of two camps in the forum. On the one hand, there are those in support of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state, who is leading the anti-Goodluck camp, he contested for re-election and won the election that took place yesterday with 19 votes out of 35 votes. Then we have the pro-Goodluck team led by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state on the other hand, who fielded Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state and lost.
With all the support, maneuver and intrigues that happened before and leading up to the elections, it became a contest between those in favour of GEJ’s candidacy in 2015, and those that are against it.
Now, this is where it gets interesting for the rest of us. Though Governor Amaechi isn’t a saint, it became a case of ‘lesser of two evils’. His victory is seen as a huge blow to President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition to seek re-election in 2015. Simply because this time round, majority of the governors are not in support of GEJ and they hold the key in delivering the delegates to him during the Party’s Primaries, as well as securing him their states in the general election.
Immediately the news of Amaechi’s victory broke, social network sites went viral with majority celebrating the defeat of GEJ, even though he didn’t contest the election. For me personally, it was NOT about Amaechi, it was about GEJ not having his way in this election, which clearly showed that if the Governors continued in this direction, 2015 will also be difficult for GEJ to win.
I am not oblivious to the fact that many rifts existed in the past in PDP, and they still went ahead to unite, resolving all differences they had and conniving to rig the elections at our detriment, but never have I seen a situation whereby governor’s are publicly criticizing the president. And while in the past, the Presidency always unleashes its toothless bulldog [EFCC] at these governors till they succumb to pressure. This time round, we have a very weak president that cannot even control his ministers let alone these powerful state governors.
Another worthy point is that majority of the Governors are not seeking for re-election since they are completing their second tenures. These key points have given the Governors strength to stand their ground and oppose Mr. President, and its the same reasons that will continue to scatter that evil umbrella, and tear it apart.
Finally, I do hope that the opposition party will take full advantage of this, and capitalize on the rift existing in the Governors Forum to make serious headway into consolidating their grounds towards a successful and victorious campaign in 2015.
Tanko Yakasai is a proud husband and father of two. He is a broadcaster with Freedom Radio, Kano. Yakasai believes in the unity and development of Nigeria, which paved his way into community activities through NGOs in transforming our society for the better. He is a registered member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
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