Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has criticised Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, for “parading” himself as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
Oshiomhole, who delivered a speech on Thursday at the ninth Triennial Delegates Conference of the Trade Union Congress,TUC, in Abuja, frowned at labour leaders for being silent on the episode.
“When the facts are so clear, Comrade, President of TUC, you can’t be quiet. You must take a position, if you believe from all that you have heard and seen. If you believe that Jang won, say so. And if you know that he did not, tell him to stop Janging,” Oshiomhole told TUC President, Peter Esele.
Jang, who has the support of governors loyal to President, Goodluck Jonathan and leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, has also opened a parallel secretariat of the NGF.
Explaining what transpired on the day of the election, Oshiomhole said “Thirty five people went into a poll and, then they were saying ‘let us make this open, the world is watching us, and then, they were talking. One by one, they were sermonizing; very seasoned Pentecostal pastors.”
“They said we must do open ballot and I said how can we do open ballot when you were already fighting before the ballot. Let’s do secret ballots. I said secret ballot has been domesticated worldwide, and I said we are products of secret ballots, why are we afraid to do secret ballot. I said one man, one vote.”
“They had 36, but one person was absent. So, one by one in the open, open-secret ballot, we voted. The papers were with two names; pick the one you want. And they counted these votes and they were 35 representing the 35 people that were present. And when they were counting ‘Jang! Jang!!, the Niger Governor (Babangida Aliyu) said ‘Jang in early lead’. I said early lead indeed. After that they said Amaechi! Ameachi!! , Amaechi!!,” he said.
“And in the end, the votes were counted and Jang janged in 16 votes and Ameachi marshaled in 19 votes. The winner emerged and the same people started saying ‘no! no!!; we are going to walk out’. I said ‘how can you walk out? Even in madness, there are levels of madness.”