From TAIWO AMODU, ABUJA
The cold war in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) over leadership assumed a new twist on Wednesday in Abuja as a plot to remove Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the chairman failed, Daily Sun has learnt.
The Forum is now polarised along the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan, Amaechi’s trusted allies and those outside the PDP, who prefer to sit on the fence.
A source disclosed that a governor in the South-South and his counterpart from North-West had mobilised few others who shared their position that the time was ripe to have a change of leadership in the NGF and were eager to use the meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja to demand for removal of Governor Amaechi as the Chairman.
Unknown to the governors agitating for his removal, Amaechi got wind of the plot and “as the meeting was about to commence, he listed change of leadership as part of the agenda of the meeting, to the consternation of the anti- Amaechi group at the meeting. Amaechi further asked any of the governors interested in the office to signify interest by raising his hand.
It was Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and his Kano State counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who intervened and declared that “there was no point to list change in leadership as an agenda for the parley.”
Recall that foot soldiers of the Presidency for the 2015 general elections have accused Amaechi of using his position as Chairman of the Forum and PDP Governors’ Forum for his political leverage. Amaechi, according to reports, has been anointed as the running mate to Governor Lamido, who is also rumoured to be interested in the 2015 presidential ticket of the PDP.
At the end of their meeting which was concluded yesterday morning, the 36 governors present, in their communique read to journalists and signed by Governor Amaechi “discussed the administration of the Forum and resolved that all organs of the Forum be made functional at the next meeting,’’
It also commended the governors for their resolve to continue with their polio eradication programme amid many challenges and re-affirmed the Forum`s solidarity with the affected states”.