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Jonathan Plots NGF Election in Villa

| May 21, 2013 More

President Goodluck Jonathan has perfected plans to coerce members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) into conducting their election in the Aso Rock presidential villa, sources disclosed.

It was also gathered last night that the president has allegedly dumped the rumoured choice of Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema, as a replacement for the erstwhile chairman of the forum and governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and settled for Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda.

Impeccable sources informed LEADERSHIP that, in the last few days, precisely since Thursday, a few governors have been guests of the president at the presidential villa to sign and endorse the “election” of Yuguda as the new chairman of the Governors’ Forum.

Close watchers of the development have begun to question the move since the Governors’ Forum is a fluid organisation that includes governors of different political parties.

“How far or how low can a president go or descend in order to settle scores with a perceived political opponent?” queried a PDP chieftain who would not want his name in print. This move, it was learnt, was a final desperate effort by the president to checkmate Governor Amaechi and ensure that he is not re-elected.

The source further disclosed that, in the voting sheet memo allegedly hatched by Jonathan, the strategy is to conduct the voting in the villa by inviting the governors individually and demanding their signatures in support of the new candidate, Isa Yuguda.

The execution of the plan, it was learnt, began on Thursday last week after the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja when some of the governors were “ambushed for the ‘signing ceremony’ in the villa”.

Information gathered exclusively by LEADERSHIP through a governor who reported the matter to his state caucus indicates that some of the governors that have allegedly signed were Kebbi governor Saidu Nasamu Dakingari, Kwara governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Yobe governor Ibrahim Gaidam.

Nonetheless, some of the governors, it was revealed, pointedly refused to sign and rather pleaded for some time to reflect on the matter.

A source also disclosed that a governor who reported to the LEADERSHIP of his state caucus mentioned details of the circumstances and revealed further that almost all the governors have been complaining about the intimidation and harassment, and indeed blackmail, from the presidency all in an effort to force them to dump Governor Amaechi.

“Nigerians must be shocked to know that, in the last few days, the election of the Governor’s Forum was being conducted from the villa with a sitting president presiding over what is apparently the rigging of Rotimi Amaechi out of the office of chairman of Governors’ Forum. This unprecedented move was decided upon after all the lobby and pressure put on most of the pro-Amaechi governors to dump him failed,” the source lamented.

LEADERSHIP findings revealed that the plot currently being executed is to secure the required signatures from the governors to back Jonathan’s new candidate, Isa Yuguda, ahead of the May date of the elections.

LEADERSHIP further learnt that the Katsina governor, Ibrahim Shema, was dumped after Jonathan was advised that Shema candidature “would not fly”.

“The presidency is said to have been rattled by the continued support enjoyed by Rotimi Amaechi amongst his colleague governors; thus, it is employing every conceivable strategy to make sure that Amaechi never returns as chairman,” the source stated.

Category: Bauchi State News

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