Mimiko: How Amaechi Rigged Himself Back As NGF Chairman
The Ondo state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko who emerged as vice chairman of the splinter group of 16 governors fielded questions from reporters where he alleged that the poll was doctored to favour Governor Amaechi, who should have stepped down for an interim chairman to conduct the poll in the first place.
When asked why the 18 governors who are now crying foul participated in the electoral process that saw the re-election of Amaechi, he retorted: 'Go and ask those who claimed to have conducted the election. The ridiculous situation that happened on Friday was a situation where Governor Amaechi said he was going to preside over an election in which he was a candidate. The option open to us would have been to be physical, but as responsible people, we couldn't but we made it clear to them that what they did was inappropriate, probably that was in line with their decision to divide the Governors' Forum.
'But I assure you that we are coming together again. You can see that under 24 hours' notice, Jonah Jang called a meeting Saturday and we have 18 Governors attending this meeting. I am sure if he had sent the notice earlier, we would have been up to 30 governors here. I couldn't have participated as a candidate in an election that is patently illegitimate and immoral.'
Continuing, Mimiko who was flanked by Jang and the other governors noted: 'All through that meeting we continued to make a point that Amaechi had to step down, that his tenure has ended. Even in ordinary village meeting, when tenure ends, the next thing to do is to call for a resolution of the house to elect a temporary leadership who would preside over the election agreed by all.'
Amaechi insisted he was going to be chairman of that election of which he was candidate, he produced some papers that he called ballot papers, there was no way we could trace the source, we don't know whether they were pre-marked or whatever.
'The question you should ask is this; yesterday he said 19 people voted for him, today at this meeting in this short notice, 18 people signed and attended a meeting called under 24 hours. Something must be wrong with the ballot of yesterday. We kept emphasising the point that it was wrong for you as an outgone chairman who is a candidate to preside and pick the method of election. When they refused to listen and they said they were continuing with it, what do expect us to do?'
Other governors at the meeting spoke thus:
Peter Obi 'A new vice chairman has emerged, as you know we in the Southeast have always worked together as Governors. We have seen it in the last election and Friday again, the Southeast together supported the candidacy of Jang. We all in the meeting here signed'
liyel Imoke: 'As chairman of the South-south Governors Forum, we also participated in the process that led to the emergence of Governor Jonah Jang. Of course the South-south had always stood behind this administration, we would continue to do that and we would continue to support the new chairman and his vice to succeed. We team up with the Governor to make sure that there is no bad signal in the Governors' Forum and forge ahead to ensure that we have a united country moving forward.
Gabriel Suswam: 'Yesterday, the meeting of the Northern Governors unanimously adopted the new leadership led by Governor Jonah Jang and the northern governors is strongly behind the new leadership of the Nigerian governors forum led by Governor David Jonah Jang and supported by Governor Mimiko, the Iroko.
Godswill Akpabio: 'Yesterday, even before the formal meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum, it was agreed the chairmanship be zoned to the PDP, which is the party with the largest number of governors in the Forum. There was a meeting of the PDP Governors' Forum. The decision of the Northern Governors' Forum was announced and you need to know that as Nigerians that chairmanship of the Forum should be two years in the South and two years in the North. That has been the resolution of the Governors. And so it was incumbent upon the Northern Governors' Forum to meet to bring out the leadership before presenting it to the Governors Forum. Yesterday, Governor Aliyu Babangida who is the chairman together with Governor Suswam of Benue came up with Governor Jang as the new chairman and presented him to the PDP Governors' Forum and accordingly, the PDP governors formally adopted Governor Jang.
Ibrahim Shema: 'Until yesterday morning, myself and Governor Yuguda of Bauchi and Ameachi of Rivers were cheduled to vie for the election. But in the interest of peace and prosperity, we honoured the Governors Forum as myself and Yuguda decided to step down to allow the Northern Governors Forum to produce a candidate acceptable to all of us and the northern governors on their own decided to adopt a consensus candidate in the person of the Jang and was graciously accepted and they applauded the effort of both myself and Yuguda for making sure that the Governors Forum continues to serve the interest of this nation. Our position is that we stepped down to honour this nation and this Forum, so that we can have a united front.
Isa Yuguda: 'Just like my colleague the Governor of Katsina has said, we were contestants, but in the spirit of uniting our country and move it forward, we decided we should step down for Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State to be our consensus candidate of the 19 Northern Governors Forum. So, 19 of us have endorsed him and we left that venue and went to where the PDP Governors Forum where our chairman and vice chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Aliyu Babangida of Niger State and Suswam presented him as a candidate supported by 19 northern governors and the PDP governors at that meeting also endorsed him. So you can see that we have had a very credible and smooth transition. Having said that I pray that the almighty Allah would continue guiding us, continue guiding the new leadership as presented by Jonah Jang and also his vice Dr Mimiko.'
In attendance at the parley were Jonah Jang (Plateau), Idris Wada (Kogi), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Sullivan Chime (Anambra), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Theodore Orji (Abia), Olusegiun Mimiko (Ondo), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Emmanuel Udughan (Delta), Peter Obi (Anambra), Garba umar (Acting Governor of Taraba), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Godswill Apkabio (Akwa Ibom), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Thanod Rubainu (dep Gov Gombe).