The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi has refuted speculations that he was advised by the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to step down for his opponent, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state in the controversial Chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).

In an interview with the anchor of BBC Hardtalk, Shaun Ley, Mr Amaechi said the NGF was striving to be independent from external forces.
“Nobody advised me not to run,” Mr Amaechi said.

Asked if he told President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the leader of his political party, the PDP, of his ambition to re-contest for the chairmanship of the NGF, Mr Amaechi said “there is no law that requires me to tell him that I was going to run.

“I didn’t need to run to the president to say Mr President I need to run for the chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. I didn’t need to do that and I didn’t do that.

“And he in turn did not call me to say don’t run, I heard you’re going to run.

“So I ran and I didn’t see the president on the ballot. The person I saw on the ballot was Jonah Jang.”

Mr Amaechi reaffirmed that he defeated Mr Jang 19 to 16 votes in the NGF chairmanship election.

Speaking on his suspension from the PDP, the governor said nobody have the right to dictate the party he associate with.

“I am going nowhere. We’ll all be in the PDP,” he said.