NGF: Amaechi Will Never Step Down – Gov Nyako
Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako declared yesterday that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State would not step down as chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) because the governors did not trust Jonah Jang of Plateau State to lead them.
Nyako, who spoke to State House Correspondents after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidential villa, Abuja, is one of the five northern governors who had been touring the country to consult with past leaders and other stakeholders on the crisis rocking the NGF and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, neither Amaechi nor Jang should step down for the other since the election was clearly won by the former. He described Jang as a yes man and a lackey who cannot be trusted to represent the interest of the governors.
The governor, who was meeting with the president alone for the first time since the crisis began, was apparently reacting to reports suggesting that they might have no choice except to step down as part of efforts to have peace.
Contending that Jang has nowhere to step down to since he only took second in the election, Nyako said, “In democracy when you have an issue you discuss. The election in the Governors’ Forum has become an issue. It shouldn’t be an issue. When you say 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, even someone who is in elementary school knows which is highest. If one group got 19 votes, the other one got 16, in democracy even in the eyes of the people in elementary school, they know that 19 is higher than 16. It should not be turned into a controversy. What could be related to that is that it could not be the figure. We could all agree that whoever got the higher figure won the election; but maybe beyond the figure, we have already in the Governors’ Forum established certain criteria for leadership within us. He must be somebody we trust. I would like to have a leader of the Forum who when he is with the president in the small room talking about Adamawa State can put in a good word for Adamawa State. It should not be someone who will aggravate issues in the eyes of Mr President. That element of trust must be there. If I vote for somebody it must be somebody I could trust.”
Noting that Jang lacked the clout of a leader to pilot the affairs of the NGF, Nyako said, “We also said it should be somebody who have some degree of chemistry with the president, that the president will be comfortable with. Now if we find that the president is not comfortable with him, how we can do a little bit of psychological work to get the two of them having the same chemistry?
“The other one we feel is that he should add some value to Mr President. If you have a Forum leader who is seen to be part of the president, that has become a yes man of Mr President, then, the governors would say he’s not representing our interests. If he is not representing the interest of the governors, he is not representing the interests of the ordinary Nigerians. These are areas we have sorted out. Obviously, if the chemistry is not still right, we should discuss it and find a way of adjusting the tempo, the countenance, the language of the subordinate.”
When asked to say who should step down between Amaechi and Jang in a situation where such decision becomes necessary, he said, “You are saying Jang should step down; step down for what? Did he win the election?”
Admitting that the issue was deliberated upon in the meeting with former president Olusegun Obasanjo, the Adamawa governor said, “It was part of it, but you should understand the rationale. What we are saying here is that if he is going to step down because he is second winner, then, that is their business and it is not the business of others or the winner to tell you step down. He is number two; he got the second highest votes and that is the way forward. Step down for what? From number two to where? Number three or of four?”
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