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NGF Chair: How Northern governors deceived Jonathan

| May 26, 2013 More

In spite of the awesome powers of the Presidency allegedly deployed to frustrate him, Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, like the proverbial cat with nine lives on Friday retained his seat as chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).

northern govSunday Sun reports that the outcome of the tension-soaked election apparently shocked the foot soldiers of the Presidency.

Even with entreaties and subtle blackmail to ensure that the governors of the North withdrew their support for Amaechi, his camp led by Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Babangida Aliyu and Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido remained resilient in galvanising supports for embattled Governor Amaechi.

Sunday Sun checks revealed that penultimate week to the election and before the proclamation of state of emergency rule, President Jonathan had a private audience with some of the governors in the violence prone states in the North where he sought their support for the NGF election.

A top official of the PDP told Sunday Sun that indication that all was not well in the camp of certain governors pretending to be working for the Presidency came to the open on the eve of the election when Bauchi State governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda picked nomination form for the NGF poll.

While Isa Yuguda, a second term governor was perceived as a fall back option by the Presidency to Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shema, the former’s sudden interest in the race polarised the camp of pro- Jonathan governors who have been working round-the-clock for the emergence of Governor Shema.

2015 VP slot

At the end of the meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum, our source revealed that wise counsel prevailed after a three hour rigorous session as both Governors Isa Yuguda and Ibrahim Shema who had been advised to step down for each other withdrew from the race.

Governor Aliyu who came to the meeting of the PDP Governors Forum in company of the Bauchi and Katsina states’ governors later presented a letter signed by the duo,announcing their resignation from the race to pave way for Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang’s emergence as consensus candidate of the northern states’ governors for the election.

The letter addressed to the Director-General, NGF, Ashishana Okauru, dated May 24, 2013 and made available by a Sunday Sun source reads:”

“ I, Mallam Isa Yuguda, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State and Barrister Sheu Shema of Katsina State, do hereby withdraw from contest for the post of Nigeria Governors Forum chairmanship and we have voluntarily stepped down to support Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State as chairman of NGF in honour to the Forum and the Nation.”

But the decision of the duo elicited jubilation in the camp of the embattled Vice- President, Architect Namadi Sambo.

“ The argument of the Vice- President camp has always been that President Jonathan wants Ibrahim Shema to lead the NGF, in order to boost the latter’s political profile, ahead of the VP slot for 2015.”

It could not be confirmed if the Bauchi State governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, actually threw his hat into the ring out of personal conviction or was used by the Namadi Sambo camp to play a spoiler role.

Source: The Sun

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on May 26 2013. Filed under ANNOUNCEMENT, FEATURE, FOR THE RECORDS, From The Press, Front Page Story, NEWS, News Across Nigeria, POLITICS.
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