I’m Old Enough To Be Your Father, Jang Tells Amaechi

The factional leader of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang, has said he is not quarrelling with Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State insisting that he is too old for such squabbles.

Speaking to journalist at the sideline of the dinner organised by President Goodluck Jonathan to celebrate his mid-term in office, Mr Jang said he is old enough to be Mr Amaechi’s father.

He said, “Amaechi is my younger brother, infact, I can say son because if you look at Amaechi’s age, I’m old enough to be his father.”

Ask to respond to Mr Amaechi’s statement that he polled 19 to defeat him at the NGF elections, Mr Jang said, “Well, that is his problem but I know that I am the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.”

Mr Amaechi defeated Mr Jang of Plateau by 19 votes to 16 last month to re-emerge as the forum’s chairman. Mr Jang, alongside 15 other governors have since formed a parallel forum.

Jang is undemocratic

Mr Amaechi, who had earlier presided a brief meeting of 15 governors at the Rivers State Governor’s lodge, had referred to Mr Jang as ‘undemocratic’ for refusing to accept the result of the NGF election.

Also speaking to reporters at the presidential dinner party, the Rivers State governor said, “Anybody who support him, including the television house is undemocratic.

“I have said it in a statement that at any point in time, we can’t accept 19 governors against 16, then we are afraid of 2015.”

Asked if he was suspended from his political party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – for refusing to step down for Governor Jang, Mr Amaechi said, “If the party is suspending me for that reason, then too bad; the party too must learn to be democratic.

“I’m not aware that the party has given any reason for suspending me but if they say this is the reason then it is too bad. The party is yet to give me any reason for my suspension, but if that’s the reason that means the party is undemocratic.”

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NGF Imbroglio: Governor Ahmed Calls for Reconciliation

In a split in loyalty within the governors of the 36 states of the Federation over the just concluded Nigerian Governors’ Forum election, where the incumbent chairman of the Forum; Rivers State Governor; Chibuike Amaechi was re-elected with 19 votes and Plateau State Governor; Jonah Jang who is claiming that the election was rigged as he had 16 votes, are both laying claims to the position of the Chairman of NGF, the Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has asked that a peaceful path of reconciliation be engaged so as not to lose sight of the peer review for development which motivated the forum’s emergence in the first place.

In a press statement released by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Governor Ahmed called on other State governors to shun divisive political tendencies and bury the hatchet while focussing on using the NGF as a platform for driving the intended development for the benefit of the people.

Governor Ahmed emphasized that a peaceful path should be taken to resolve any rancour within the State governors rather encourage discord amongst themselves.

“If there are issues as regards the election of the Forum’s chairman, we should use the same platform to resolve them rather than fanning the embers of discord in the media. Our choking security challenges should not be compounded with political conundrum,”

Governor Ahmed therefore called on the leadership of South-South Governor’s Forum, the Northern State Governors’ Forum, the South East Governors’ Forum and their colleagues from the South West to utilise their various platforms to strengthen the Forum and complement the leadership at the Federal level.

According to him, as a peer-review platform for good governance, the NGF should offer critical development advice to first term governors such as himself so that democracy can be made more meaningful for the people, stressing that deliberate efforts should be made to ensure that the system is not overheated.