“I Am The Authentic Chairman,” Amaechi Tells Jang Face to Face at NEC Meeting
For the first time since the Nigeria Governors’ forum, NGF, election in May that has so far polarized the forum into two factions, the two men laying claims to the leadership of the forum, Governors Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state and Jonah Jang of Plateau state were made to seat side by side each other at the National Economic Council, NEC meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.
In what is probably an order from above, presidential aides altered the sitting arrangement at NEC meetings and placed Amaechi and Jang’s seat beside each other as against the previous sitting arrangement where the Chairman of the Governors Forum would sit directly opposite Vice President Namadi Sambo, who chairs the council.
The seats were rearranged for the governors in alphabetical order of the name of their states. With no state starting with the letter Q, Mr. Amaechi of River’s seat was directly beside that of Mr. Jang of Plateau.
It was Amaechi who first arrived the chambers and headed for his usual seat opposite Mr. Sambo only to be informed that his seat was the one marked with R. He then realised who his neighbour was going to be.
After exchanging some small talks and jabs with his Niger State counterpart, Babangida Aliyu, where he told the Rivers Governor: “So you are going to sit with Jang. This is very nice oh. Somebody is trying to be diplomatic here, Governor Amaechi responded saying: “We are still together. So, I am going to sit with him. The real chairman, with (laughter)” and then made for his seat.
Observers watched curiously to see how Mr. Jang and other governors would react to the sitting arrangement.
When Mr. Jang arrived; he walked in and exchanged pleasantries with other governors including Mr. Amaechi. After being told he was to sit beside his opponent, he did.
“You are welcome, I am the authentic chairman,” Mr. Amaechi told Mr. Jang while exchanging greetings.
The Plateau Governor did not respond and both governors sat without saying anything to themselves for a while before others started arriving.
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