Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, yesterday, offered reasons why majority of pro-Rotimi Amaechi-led governors in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, are against Jonah Jang, the Plateau State governor.
According to Nyako, the governors do not trust Jang to stoutly defend their interests before President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Adamawa governor, who was speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Jonathan yesterday evening, affirmed that a proposal was mooted for both Jang and Amaechi to step down during a reconciliatory meeting between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and governors under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Even though no agreement was reached, Nyako said it was improper to ask somebody who contested and won election to step down for somebody who came second.
He said before the governors went in for the election of chairman of the forum, three criteria were set out as qualities of who should emerge the chairman of the forum.
He stated: “In democracy, when you have an issue you discuss. The election in the Governors’ Forum has become an issue. It should not be an issue. When you say 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, even someone who is in elementary school knows which is higher. If one group got 19 votes (and) the other got 16, in democracy even in the eyes of the people in elementary school, they know that 19 is higher than 16. It should not be turned into controversy.
“But beyond the figure, we had already agreed in the governors’ forum, we had already established certain criteria for leadership within us.
“He must be somebody we trust. I would like to have a leader of the forum who when he is with the President in the small room talking about Adamawa State, can put off avoidable crisis for Adamawa State. It should not be someone who will aggravate issues in the eyes of Mr President. That element of trust must be there. If I vote for somebody it must be somebody I could trust.
“We also said it should be somebody who has some degree of chemistry with the President, that the President will be comfortable with. Now if we find that the President is not comfortable with him, can we do a little bit of psychological work to get the two of them having the same chemistry?
“The other one we feel is that he should add some value to Mr. President. If you have a forum leader who is seen to be part of the Presidency, that has become a yes-man of Mr. President, then the governors will say he is not representing our interests. If he is not representing the interest of the governors, he is not representing the interests of the ordinary Nigerians.”
On whether Jang and Amaechi should step down to allow for a neutral person to be elected, Nyako retorted that it would be inconceivable to urge Amaechi to step down, given that he won the election. He said that the pressure should rather be on Jang as the runner-up to step down.