NGF Crisis Won’t Affect 2015 Elections – Jang

Amaechi-Jang-300x182Factional Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Da Jonah Jang, has assured Nigerians and the international community that the crisis rocking the Forum will not have a bearing on the 2015 general elections.

Jang, who is also the Governor of Plateau State, gave the assurance in a statement on behalf of his faction of the Forum by its Director General, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu, in Abuja on Monday.

Jang said it was wrong for the First Secretary, Embassy of The Netherlands, Ms Anique Claessen, to have raised the alarm that the crisis was capable of affecting the 2015 elections.

Claessen, while speaking at a seminar to evaluate INEC’s roadmap recently, was quoted to have said, “For example, the controversy surrounding the election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum chairman seemed to me very ironical. If a small group of 36 cannot agree on and respect the outcome of a democratic election, what are the prospects for the election involving millions?”

The NGF has been split into two factions following the outcome of its May 24th election where Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state got 19 votes against Jang’s 15 votes with both contestants laying claim to the chairmanship position of the Forum.

But Jang, in the statement, said that there was no way the governors could isolate themselves from happenings in the country and assured the people that they were capable of resolving their own problems.

The statement read, “We read with dismay the recent comments of the First Secretary, Embassy of the Netherlands, Ms Anique Claessen, which were widely circulated in the media, supposing that the recent internal family communication challenge of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum will affect the process and outcome of the 2015 elections.”

Jang, however, said, “From the above submission, it is very clear that the Dutch envoy has a limited understanding of the contending issues of the polity, the politics and the people.

“For it is hard to conceive how a matter that is not a constitutional issue would affect 2015 elections. INEC, the body charged with conducting elections in Nigeria, has not alluded in the remotest term to such a threat as Ms Claessen’s.”

Consequently, he appealed to diplomatic missions to apply moderation in their comments and avoid skewed postulations or prophecies about Nigeria’s national institutions, adding that they should realize that their words carried the weight of their offices.