Presidency, PDP Plot Against Governors Opposed to Jangs ‘Chairmanship’ of the NGF
The presidency is not backing down on its desperation to have Governor Rotimi Amaechi of River state removed from the leadership of the Nigerian Gobernors’ Forum (NGF ) and have his loyalist installed.
The latest move by the Presidency and the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is to have any of its governors who fail to recognise Governor Jonah Jang as chairman of the NGF sanctioned and be treated as a rebel fighting the party.
Amaechi had on Friday emerged the Chairman of the forum following the official announcement of the poll results by the Director-General of the Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, who said Ammeachi polled 19 votes to defeat his rival, Governor Jonah Jang of plateau state who scored 16 votes.
But few but few minutes after the election result was announced, later, governors loyal to President Jonathan, lead by the governor of Akwa Ibom State and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Godswill Akpabio, addressed the press announcing Jang as the winner of the election.
Both Amaechi and Jang are now claiming leadership of the forum that has become polarized into two factions. Despite the claims by the Jang’s faction however, the spin doctors of the presidency are losing sleep over the refusal of the other governors to recognize Jang as the authentic leader, especially as he did not emerge at the forum’s election.
To put a check to the resolve of the opposing governors, the presidency and the PDP leadership have reliably resolved deal with the governors in its fold who refused to recognize Jang as the forum’s chairman.
The PDP governors who are in the camp of the opposition to Jang’s acclaimed leadership are Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto)
A source said: “Let me tell you that the PDP has no business to do with the NGF; instead, since PDP is the ruling party, we are more interested in the PDP Governors’ Forum than in any other association. But in answering your question over party supremacy, any of our governors who ignores our directive would be given a choice to decide either for the party or opt out,” a credible presidency source disclosed.
He explained that since it was the Northern Governors’ Forum that had earlier endorsed Governor Jang shortly before the NGF election and it was the position of the PDP governors in the north, which was also endorsed by the south-east and south-south fora of the PDP governors, then, any attempt by Amaechi to ignore this position would be treated as anti-party activity.
“I read all those stories in the papers today. We are watching the unfolding scenario with interest. What we know is, it was the Northern Governors’ Forum that first endorsed Jang as their consensus candidate after the withdrawal of Shema and Yuguda, but whatever happened at the Rivers State Lodge could not stand if our governors in the south-east and south-south remained committed to the leadership of Jang.”
Although President Jonathan who is still in Addis Ababa attending the Special Session of the African Union has denied influencing the crisis rocking the NGF, that claims only seem to be on paper, a source said as the presidency and the party is plotting to have any of the PDP governors who failed to recognise Jang lose the party machinery in his state, and hence would not be allowed to impose his surrogates on the party come 2015 and would be hunted by the anti-graft agencies.
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