Embattled Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi on Wednesday decried the lingering Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) crisis which he said was an indication of what was likely to happen in the 2015 elections where people who lose will reject the results and cling onto power.
Amaechi, who was speaking at a stakeholders’ symposium on the review of the 1999 Constitution in Abuja said, “Let me put it on record that the way things are going, 2015 elections will end in this manner where people will win democratic elections and those in power will not accept the results.”
Amaechi, who won the May 24 NGF election in Abuja, was curious as to why some people would be backing Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, who contested against him and lost.
The governor described Jang and his supporters as undemocratic and accused the Nigeria Bar Association of keeping silent in the face of Jang’s action and his supporters after the NGF poll.
Amaechi, who said he had been trying to avoid the microphone because of too many problems in the country, told the audience that since he had been made to mount the podium, he was ready to make “headlines.”
Taking the NBA to the cleaners first, Amaechi said, “The NBA cannot afford to lose its voice, but you have lost your voice. For the NBA to see a free and fair election, where 35 governors who govern 35 states in the nation, who make decisions for hundreds of millions of Nigerians, for NBA to say that ‘if they can’t organise themselves dissolve,’ you have lost your voice.
“I say it and I want to be put on record that anybody who supports the Jang group is undemocratic.
“Before that the NGF election, we chose who will be the returning officer, we appointed our director-general to be the returning officer and we voted.
“Everybody voted; everybody including Jang. Jang was even among the first persons to vote.
“When I won my brother from Akwa Ibom State (Godswill Akpabio) stood up and said, ‘there’s a document I have where 19 governors have signed for us.’
“And Jang says the Northern States Governors’ Forum supported him. Which Northern governors? They should have voted for him. He also said the PDP governors supported him before the election, then the PDP governors should have voted for him.
“What you have that Jang is leading is another faction of the PDP Governors’ Forum, not the NGF.
“Anybody, whether NBA or government that supports Jang’s faction is undemocratic.”
Imploring Nigerians and the judiciary to rise up and defend their rights, Amaechi said, “My Lords, you must defend our democracy and Nigeria. We don’t have any other country anywhere else, the only country we have is this.
“We must be prepared as a people to defend our rights; we must be prepared as a people to hold government accountable. We must be prepared as a people to demand accountability.”
Amaechi urged Nigerians to resist a situation “where non-government officers that have no public function can order the Inspector-General of Police to change commissioners of police.”
The governor also used the occasion to reiterate his call for the establishment of state police in the ongoing constitution review adding that it was not proper for the President to appoint commissioners of police.
In apparent reference to the face-off between him and the Rivers state police commissioner, Amaechi said, “You were talking about state prisons and state police. We don’t have state prisons; we don’t have state police.
“A situation where governors are left helpless and hopeless because somebody here in Abuja determines who becomes my commissioner of police, and tells him what to do, and he makes the city uncomfortable and ungovernable, is not the kind of constitution that I will want to support.”