Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako yesterday said that Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, as the legitimate winner of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election, will not step down for any reason.
Nyako, who spoke to State House Correspondents after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the presidential villa, Abuja, described Jang as a ‘yes man’ and a lackey who cannot be trusted to represent the interest of the governors.
His words: “In a democracy when you have an issue you discuss it. The election in the Governors’ Forum has become an issue. It shouldn’t be an issue. When you say 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, even someone who is in elementary school knows which is highest. If one group got 19 votes, the other one got 16, in a democracy even in the eyes of the people in elementary school, they know that 19 is higher than 16. It should not be turned into a controversy. What could be related to that is that it could not be the figure. We could all agree that whoever got the higher figure won the election; but maybe beyond the figure, we have already in the Governors’ Forum established certain criteria for leadership within us. He must be somebody we trust. I would like to have a leader of the Forum who when he is with the president in the small room talking about Adamawa State can put in a good word for Adamawa State. It should not be someone who will aggravate issues in the eyes of Mr President. That element of trust must be there. If I vote for somebody it must be somebody I could trust.”
“In choosing our leader in NGF, we also said it should be somebody who has some degree of chemistry with the president, that the president will be comfortable with. Now if we find that the president is not comfortable with him, how do we do a little bit of psychological work to get them to have the chemistry?
“The other one we feel is that he should add some value to Mr President. If you have a Forum leader who is seen to be part of the president, that has become a ‘yes man’ of Mr President, then, the governors would say he’s not representing our interests. If he is not representing the interest of the governors, he is not representing the interests of the ordinary Nigerians. These are areas we have sorted out. Obviously, if the chemistry is still not right, we should discuss it and find a way of adjusting the tempo, the countenance, the language of the subordinate.”
Querying the recent speculation that both Amaechi and Jang should step down for Yuguda, the governor said: “You are saying Jang should step down; step down for what? Did he win the election?”
The governor, while admitting that the issue was part of the things raised by the 5 Northern governors when they visited former president Olusegun Obasanjo, during their visit to Ota farm, said, “It was part of it, but you should understand the rationale. What we are saying here is that if he is going to step down because he is the second winner, then, that is their business and it is not the business of others or the winner to tell you to step down. He is number two; he got the second highest votes and that is the way forward. Step down for what? From number two to where? Number three or of four?”
The governor was meeting with the president alone for the first time since the crisis began.