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Ahead of NGF meeting today: Amaechi warns Jang to stop impersonating him

By The Citizen
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Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi on Sunday warned his Plateau State counterpart, Mr. Jonah Jang, against  impersonating him as the chairman of  the Nigeria Governors' Forum.

Amaechi was reacting to media reports on Saturday that Jang had invited the NGF members to a meeting scheduled for Monday (today) in Abuja.

Jang, who lost out to the Rivers State Governor during the May 24 governors election,   had in a statement said that the NGF forum meeting would hold at 6pm.

In the statement in which he addressed himself as the NGF chairman, Jang stated that after their meeting, the governors would meet with President Goodluck Jonathan at 9pm in the Presidential Villa.

He explained that the governors would meet 'in view of the impasse arising from the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee meeting.'

State commissioners for Finance had on Thursday stormed out of the FAAC meeting in Abuja because of N60bn unpaid arrears.

But on Sunday, Amaechi distanced himself from the meeting announced by Jang, saying the he (Jang) should not tarnish  the integrity of governors.

The Rivers State governor said, 'As the 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, 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 Friday, May 24, 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.

'Governor Jang is my brother and a 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 explained that the only meeting he was aware of was that between all the governors and Jonathan today.

'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.' He therefore enjoined all the governors to 'please ensure attendance at this meeting with Mr. President.'

He reminded Jang that a legal action that had been instituted against him (Jang) by the Lagos State Governor, Mr.  Babatunde Fashola (SAN), asking him to stop 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,' Amaechi added.

He, however, reassured his colleagues that the leadership 'crisis in the NGF would be resolved and the forum would be reunited as one family committed to the country.'

Amaechi stated that the forum would continue to support the President's   'vision for a Nigeria that safeguards the rights of all its citizens to good governance and democratic norms.'

But in a swift response, Jang insisted that the NGF meeting would hold as scheduled on Monday.

The governor, who spoke through the Sole Administrator of his NGF faction, Mr. Osaro Onaiwo, added, 'The meeting  would hold as scheduled and the agenda is the Federation Allocation Accounts.  After that members would proceed to the Presidential Villa to have a meeting with President Jonathan.'