Opposition parties on Sunday took a swipe at the governors that rejected the election of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum as bad losers.
They also criticised the Peoples Democratic Party and President Goodluck Jonathan over the rejection, accusing them of being desperate to win the 2015 electio at all costs.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party said the President and the PDP would not accept the result of the 2015 elections if they lost.
The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday won the NGF chairmanship election.
But on Saturday, 17 governors faulted the election, saying the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, won the election.
Apparently in the euphoria of his being declared by a faction as the NGF chairman, Jonah Jang arrived in Jos, his state capital on Sunday to tell journalists that he did not bargain for the new post.
The following dialogue ensued between the governor and the journalists:
Question: Do you actually bargain for what you got now?
Answer: Well, I never bargained for it but that is the way God works. So this is God’s will.
Question: What is your impression of the election sir?
Answer: As far as I’m concerned I have been given an assignment and by the grace of God I will do my best to unite the forum and make sure the forum provides the right leadership for the people of Nigeria because we are governors that are governing our respective states.
So, we are bound together to work with one another. The NGF election, or selection as you call it, should not divide the governors; we have one purpose and were elected by the people to work for them. We have worked with Governor Amaechi, the former Chairman of NGF before and I’m appealing to him to calm down and also work with me so that together we will continue to give Nigerians the right leadership for electing us as their governors.
Question: Are you ready to work with him if he agrees to support you?
Answer: I mean I’m going to really try to get him to work with me, I have once worked with him before, he too should work with me so that we can be able to give this country the right leadership that it is yearning for.
On Sunday, the ACN said that the outcome of the election was an indication that Jonathan and his party would lose the 2015 elections.
The Presidency had on Saturday said he had no candidate or interest in the NGF election.
The ACN, in a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the anti-Amaechi governors were undoubtedly acting the script written for them by the presidency and the leadership of the PDP.
“The Presidency and the ruling party have lost control of themselves. They are bound to also lose control of the nation, democratically, in 2015. Make no mistake about it,” the party said.
It said the message that the Presidency was sending to the nation through the governors’ forum election was that the outcome of the 2015 elections would only be valid if a certain candidate emerged the winner.
It said, “If an election involving only 35 governors can generate so much controversy and threaten to overheat the polity, what will happen when millions of Nigerians vote in 2015?
“Is this how President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the godfather of the losing governors, has been sanitising the electoral process as he has been enthusing?”
“The show of shame by the bad losers supporting Governor Jonah Jang, of course at the behest of the presidency, is an extension of the threat that has been issued by some rabble-rousers that it is either Jonathan for 2015 or there will be no Nigeria as we know it.
“This is the Gbagbo Option that plunged Cote d’Ivoire into a crisis in which it has yet to fully emerge. This is what the puppet governors are pushing for, hence they must be called to order urgently!”
The ACN condemned the meddlesomeness of the Presidency in the election. It criticised Jonathan for allegedly expending so much goodwill he had on the NGF election.
The party also called for a probe of the document being circulated by the losing governors to show they had harvested the signatures of 18 governors pushing for a consensus candidate just before the elections.
The party said the fact that the signature of a governor, who neither attended the meeting of the PDP chapter of the NGF nor sent a representative, was included in the consensus list was an indication that the signatures were harvested long before the meeting and the day of the election.
Also, CPC accused the President and the PDP of being bad losers.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, told one of our correspondents that the desire of the President to win at all costs in 2015 had made him to be fighting those he called imaginary enemies.
Jonathan had in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Saturday denied involvement in the NGF election.
Fashakin said, “The governors, elected on the platform of the PDP, who the President thinks have shown aversion to his desire for re-election, have been treated with utter ruthlessness.
“A noxious desire to truncate Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s Chairmanship of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum had seen the birthing of new platforms for PDP governors.
“The bilious discontent arising from the elections for the new chairman of the NGF bears the imprimatur of the Presidency. The PDP and indeed the Presidency are bad losers.
“But Nigerians are watching. They are not docile and will, when the time comes, give the Presidency and his party the shocker of their lives.”
On its part, the ANPP said the confusion after the NGF election was a reflection of the resolve of the Presidency to create confusion where it fails to actualise its aims.
National Publicity Secretary of the ANPP, Chief Emma Eneukwu, said this in response to a question on what the NGF election and its outcome portends for 2015.
He said “The governor’s forum election just mirrored the resolve of the presidency to create confusion and anarchy wherever it fails to actualise its aims.
“It is a common knowledge that the presidency brought out all jokers in its purse to stop Amaechi but couldn’t and instead of submitting to the will of the majority, it decided to destroy the forum by introducing factions.
“It shows Nigerians how the PDP government will try to introduce anarchy when they lose 2015 elections.”
The PDP has yet to react to the outcome of the NGF election.
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisah Metuh, said the party’s National Working Committee members were meeting on the outcome of the NGF election.
But the Zonal Publicity Secretary, PDP, South-West Zone, Waheed Lawal, said that the President did not interfere in the election.
“What happened or what we are told that happened at the venue of the election was politics. I say it is democracy in action. I wish to also reject the insinuations of meddlesomeness in the affairs of Governors Forum by President Goodluck Jonathan. I totally disagree,” Lawal stated.