In spite of the shaky relationship between the Presidency and the Rivers state governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, most Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and those in opposition are supporting the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) for a second term.
Some of the governors yesterday released a copy of the constitution of the Governors’ Forum to support Amaechi’s bid for re-election next month.
The governors also said the NGF constitution does not make it compulsory for the ruling party (PDP) to produce the forum’s chairman. Also yesterday, there were indications that the Presidency is in dilemma over the search for Amaechi’s replacement as the preferred candidate, Governor Ibrahim Shema, is said to be unwilling to contest for the office.
According to a source who gave hints on the issue, he said, Shema is trying to avoid being used as a “cannon fodder”. President Goodluck Jonathan had a “curious dinner” with some PDP , All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) governors Sunday night, a source said. How to stop Amaechi’s re-election was discussed, but members of the NGF were convinced that Amaechi should go.
It was gathered that some of those who attended the dinner questioned why the President should dictate to them on who to vote for. According to sources, some of the NGF members, who met in Abuja, have drawn out two strategies to stop Jonathan from “hijacking” the Forum.
One of the governors, who spoke anonymously said: “The strategies are: canvassing strongly for secret ballot and stopping the PDP Governors Forum from coming up with a consensus candidate against Amaechi.” He went on: “We are determined to stop being led by the nose by President Goodluck Jonathan on who should lead the NGF. We knew what the strange dinner on Sunday at the Presidential Villa was all about but we have launched a counter-strategy.
“The truth is that most members of the NGF are still backing Amaechi because his sins border on the protection of the statutory functions of the Forum.”