Amaechi warns Jang: don’t impersonate NGF chair
Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi yesterday warned Governor Jonah Jang to stop parading himself as the forum’s leader.He said Jang’s assumption of NGF chairmanship is subjudice to the ongoing court process instituted by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola against the usurpation of the NGF leadership by the Plateau State governor.
Jang has called a meeting of governors for today. Amaechi said there would be no meeting. But, he urged governors to attend a session with President Goodluck Jonathan scheduled to hold at 9pm at the Aso Rock Villa.
Amaechi, in a statement made available to reporters in Abuja, urged Jang to act within the “confines of decorum.”
“On Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16, reports in the media credited to my brother governor, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, announced that he has called for a Nigeria Governors’ Forum meeting.
“Ordinarily, I would have ignored these reports as I do not imagine that as governors who hold our people’s mandate through the democratic process of free and fair elections, we would do anything to impugn our integrity.
“However, as chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, elected by my colleagues to safeguard their integrity and that of the forum, it has become imperative for me to request my brother Governor Jang to remain within the confines of decorum and cease to impersonate me and to stop parading himself as NGF chairman.
“There is only one chairman of the forum, duly elected by a vote tally of 19: 16 on Thursday, May 23, 2013.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I as chairman of the NGF have not called for any Governors’ Forum meeting for Monday, June 17, 2013.
“The only meeting scheduled for Monday June 17 is a meeting of all governors with His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan scheduled to hold at 9pm at Aso Rock Villa. All governors should please ensure attendance at this meeting with Mr. President.
“I wish to reassure my brother governors that this storm shall pass and we all will be reunited as one family committed to our nation’s unity and supporting Mr. President in his vision for a Nigeria that safeguards the rights of all its citizens to good governance and democratic norms.
“Governor Jang is my brother and friend and I habour no ill feelings towards him, but it is important that he stops this impersonation, as it could threaten all the good work we all have done together.
“May I remind Governor Jang that there is a legal action that has been instituted against him by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State from parading himself as the chairman of NGF.
“As leaders elected by our people, Nigerians are closely watching us. We must comport ourselves according to the dictates and principles of democratic and lawful practices and norms.”
But indications emerged yesterday that the 16 governors loyal to Jang are plotting to make the President “recognise” the Plateau State Governor as the NGF chairman at the session.
According to sources, one of the secret agenda behind the session with the governors is to cut Amaechi to size.”
A source privy to the plot said: “Their plan is that after discussing some national issues with the governors, the pro-Jang supporters will push for response from their defeated leader as NGF chairman.
“The President will thereafter tacitly ask Jang to respond. And since the meeting is holding within the confines of the Presidential Villa, it will be difficult for any of them to raise a voice against Jonathan.
“Jang is expected to present a make-belief resolution of the NGF on the stalemate over the monthly revenue allocation at last Thursday’s meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee(FACC) in Abuja.”
It was also learnt that some agencies have been mandated to provide adequate security for a meeting of the Jang faction fixed for today in Abuja.
“Some forces in government are mounting pressure on most of the 23 PDP governors to attend Jang’s meeting. They are desperate to increase the number from 16 to 20 to show that Jang is in charge,” another source said.
Last night, there were indications that some governors might boycott or walk out of the session with the President if any attempt is made to confer legitimacy on Jang at the Monday session.
A source added: “I do not think it will be that easy for the President to recognise Jang as NGF chairman. This will open a new dimension to the NGF crisis.
“Some governors might walk out if Jang is allowed to speak for the NGF at the meeting in the Villa.
“Those who are loyal to Amaechi have their own plan to curtail any plot to foist Jang on NGF members. It will be an interesting session.”The Director-General of Jang’s factional Secretariat of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu last night said there is no going back on a meeting of the Forum convened by Governor Jang.
He said the meeting was summoned to discuss the declining statutory monthly allocation to states by the Federation Account Allocation Committee( FAAC).
Onaiwu, who spoke with our correspondent, said the meeting would hold by 6pm on Monday (today) before the governors hold another session with President Goodluck Jonathan by 9pm.
He said: “This meeting will go on as scheduled; it is not a political session; we are not out for sentiments. The meeting will start by 6pm.
“The representatives of states walked out of the FAAC meeting last Thursday and whether you are NGF chairman or a governor, there is no way you will not be concerned.”
On Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s position that Jang has no authority to convene the meeting, Onaiwu added: “Why can’t he convene his own meeting if he feels strongly about the session initiated by Governor Jang?”
Source: The Nation