Stop Impersonating Me, Amaechi Warns Jang

By The Rainbow

Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi and Plateau State governor Jonah Jang are now set for a showdown over who has the authority to summon a meeting of the  Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF). Each is parading himself as the NGF chairman.

Governor Amaechi, who emerged NGF chairman by an election, said he had not called for any scheduled meeting of the 36 governors in Abuja, explaining that the only meeting that the governors have is that with Jonathan over the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) impasse.

Amaechi also reminded Jang that he was the elected NGF chairman, having defeated him with 19 votes as against his 16 votes, and asked Jang to stop impersonating him.

In a statement made available to journalists in Port Harcourt yesterday, Amaechi stated that Jang lacked the powers to convene an NGF meeting as he was not the elected chairman of the forum.

Amaechi said, '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 an NGF  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 NGF 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 NGF's meeting for Monday, June 16, 2013. The only meeting scheduled for Monday, June 16, 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 harbour no ill feelings against him, but it is important that he stop 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 for 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 practice.'

We are set for governors' meeting – Onaiwu
But Jang yesterday said the NGF  is set to hold its  meeting today in Abuja .

The meeting was summoned over the lingering disagreement over the excess crude account and federation account which culminated last week in a walk-out by state commissioners of finance from a FAAC  meeting organised by the Ministry of Finance in Abuja.

A source also confirmed to LEADERSHIP that the pro-Amaechi governors would not attend the meeting summoned by Jang but that they would head straight to the presidential villa to meet with Jonathan.

According to the Jang-led faction, the governors would proceed from its meeting to the presidential villa to meet with Jonathan.

LEADERSHIP could not however confirm whether the pro-Amaechi governors would meet ahead of the meeting with Jonathan.

An attempt to contact the director-general of the NGF, Dr Asishana Okauru,  proved abortive as several calls on his line was not going through.

But the sole administrator of the Jang  faction of the NGF, Mr  Earl Osaro Onaiwu, told LEADERSHIP yesterday that the faction was prepared to host governors.

LEADERSHIP  visited the premises to ascertain the state of activities ahead of the meeting. While the premises was deserted, save for the gatemen and two cars, Onaiwu , who incidentally was present at the office, said they were ready to hold the meeting.

He said, 'You have been here before, at the conference room when we held our meetings. So we are ready to host the governors.'

He claimed that the invitation over the meeting had been sent to all the governors, saying that the faction had been receiving responses from them.

He dispelled insinuations that the forum is yet to commence full operation, saying:  'We have since recruited our staff, we have commenced full operation and we won't be distracted from the task ahead of us.'

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