No NGF meeting today, Amaechi tells Govs
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, said on Sunday that no meeting of the Forum was scheduled to hold today.
Amaechi’s position puts to lie the announcement by a factional chairman of the Forum, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, that he has “summoned an emergency meeting” of the Forum for today in Abuja “to resolve the financial dispute arising from the monthly allocation meeting.”
In a statement he personally signed, Amaechi noted that on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, Jang through some media reports announced that he had called for a meeting of the Forum.
“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 Governors’ Forum, elected by my colleagues to safeguard their integrity and that of the Forum, it has become imperative for me to request my brother and 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 9.00 p.m. at Aso Rock Villa,” Amaechi said.
He enjoined all the Governors to “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 harbour no ill feelings against him, but it is important that he stops this impersonation, as it could threaten all the good work we all have done together.”
Amaechi reminded Jang of a legal action 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 the dictates and principles of democratic and lawful practices and norms,” he added.
The meeting summoned by Jang, as gathered, was meant to discuss issues surrounding the Federation Account and Excess Crude Account.
It was also expected to afford those Governors loyal to him an opportunity to strategise and come up with a position that will be presented to the committee headed by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim.
The proposed emergency meeting is expected to “hold at the NGF Secretariat located at no 2 Nana Close, off Nile Street, Maitama, Abuja by 6.00 p.m. tomorrow (today).”
According to the statement signed by Jang in Jos on Saturday, “In view of the impasse arising from the federal allocation account committee meeting, an emergency meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has been convened in Abuja.”
The statement added that all the state Governors will meet with President Jonathan at 9.00 p.m. on the same matter.
It, therefore, urged all the Governors to endeavour to attend the meeting in person.
Meanwhile, former Deputy National Chairman (South West) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, has said the current crisis rocking the party will soon become a thing of the past.
George, who claimed that “the country will collapse should the PDP collapse,” pointed out that the party was carrying enormous national burden that it must not be allowed to implode.
He described the PDP as the only national party in the country.
In an interview with some journalists at his Ikoyi residence at the weekend, the PDP chieftain, while expressing worry over the lingering crisis in his party, called on its founding fathers to urgently resolve the crisis before it escalates.
“The emperor should not go to sleep while Rome is burning. The quality of good managers is the ability to resolve problems when they arise. The furnace is too hot for comfort.
“The leadership of the PDP must rise above the crest of the crisis so that the house will not collapse. At the end of it all, it will be no victor, no vanquished.
“With the tender age of our democracy, which is in its teenage years, do you consider a teenager of about 14 years old to behave like an adult?” he queried.
While calling on aggrieved individuals within the party to sheath their swords, George appealed for calm, saying “grandstanding doesn’t work in politics and a tree never makes a forest.
“I am bothered, so also a lot of Nigerians are bothered, never in the history of this country have we had such a broad based national party.
“The concept of PDP was to help democracy grow and develop. And when the concept is being threatened, our founding fathers should be concerned.”
While expressing the belief that the early intervention of the founding fathers of the party will salvage the situation, George emphasised that doing so means saving the country’s democracy from total collapse.
“We had worse crisis in the past and we overcame it. This one is also surmountable because it is not fundamental. So, that is why I am appealing to all of us in the party to be more committed not only to the party but also for the sake of Nigeria,” he added.