EXCLUSIVE: Amaechi’s camp has secret video of fraud-free governors’ forum election

APC Governors
APC governors

Governors backing the newly reelected chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, had premonition that the keenly contested election might become tumultuous, so they requested one of them to secretly video the poll, multiple sources close to the governors have told PREMIUM TIMES.

With his mobile phone, an unnamed governor secretly captured most of the proceedings of an election that featured intense maneuvering from governors on a clear divide, either in support or against President Goodluck Jonathan’ candidate, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state.

The president has repeatedly denied having interest in who becomes the next chairman of the group, but that claim has been disproved by insiders and governors, and even the president’s body language.

The footage, seen by a PREMIUM TIMES source, documents how the 35 governors, who participated, were transparently accredited, assigned ballot papers, before they took turns to slot them in a transparent ballot box hired from the Independent National Electoral Commission, our source said.

At a point during the election, a source said, the arrowhead of the opposition against Mr. Amaechi, Governor Godswill Akpabio, realized the election was being taped and he charged angrily at the governor doing the recording. But once Mr. Akpabio turned away, the governor simply resumed his secret recording.

With a fierce allegation of fraud now up against Mr. Amaechi’s victory, from governor’s known to be die-hard associates of the president, the recording is seen as the first documented evidence of a transparent process to crush that concern.

“Let them keep dancing around, we will release the video of the election at the appropriate time, “ a governor, who pleaded not to be named because he was not authorized to speak for his camp said Saturday. “We have hard core evidence that these clowns (governors) voted without any complaint during the election. We are ashamed to have these shady characters as colleagues.”

The Director General of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Asishana Okauru, said the NGF secretariat did not arrange a recording of the election and that he is unaware that the proceedings were secretly taped.

“I was busy counting the votes so I didn’t know that any governor recorded. And by the votes I counted, Amaechi won,” he said in a telephone interview. “I will find out and let you know.” Mr. Okauru, who was returning officer at the election,  is yet to revert  and did not answer subsequent calls.

The outcome of the poll has been rejected by governors in support of Mr. Jang, and apparently, President Jonathan. The protesting governors, led by Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state, said the process violated key rules, and declared the group’s decision not to recognize Mr. Amaechi as the winner.

But for all the authority of incumbency and presidential leverage, Friday’s elections provided a teachable moment on the potency of an alliance between discontent members of a ruling party, and the opposition  All Progessives Congress – a coalition bonded by common goal to upset and humiliate the establishment.

Mr. Amaechi, not favoured to win by the pro-Jonathan team, emerged despite intense strategizing that saw the Peoples Democratic Party raise a list of supporting governors who agreed Mr. Jang was the rightful candidate to win the seat. Nineteen PDP governors signed the document before the polls.

The Northern Governors Forum met early Friday and prevailed on the Katsina and Bauchi governors, Ibrahim Shema and Isa Yuguda, respectively, to yield their ambition, for a consensus candidate in the person of Mr. Jang.

Both men are known supporters of the president, and were seen as having been put up as part of the effort to ensure Mr. Amaechi, embroiled in a testy row with Mr. Jonathan over 2015 election, stood no chance.

Removing Messrs Shema and Yuguda was to soothe the president’s camp, led by Mr. Akpabio, and leave them with the impression all was well, our sources say. It turned out a dummy, well sold.

When Mr. Jang, also a supporter of the president, was presented by the group to the PDP governors later Friday, he drew no objection, not even from Mr. Amaechi, and soon won the signatures of most of the governors present.

In the end, at least three governors, who rallied that support on paper, backed off when afforded the luxury of an unmarked ballot paper, and a secret voting system. Their votes, alongside the opposition, apparently went Mr. Amaechi’s way.

After the polls, Mr. Akpabio, backed by other governors in support of Mr. Jang, said using the unmarked papers (which should betrayed those who opposed the president’ choice), and the refusal of Mr. Amaechi to resign first before the poll, nullified the elections.


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  • Bala R

    SOME GUYS ARE CRAZY. THESE GOVS CAN’T MANAGE 35 VOTES. WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN MILLIONS VOTE?

    • Firbanks Davida

      in the same way Travis r℮pli℮d I didnt knℴw a singl℮ mℴm abl℮ tℴ ℮arn $7317 in a f℮w w℮℮ks ℴn th℮ int℮rn℮t. did yℴu s℮℮ this w℮b sit℮……. Fℴx85. ℂℴm

  • nija pikin

    Wow this is smack down wwe row am proud of the NGF

  • Saadiana – Ankpa

    “Let them keep dancing around, we will release the video of the election
    at the appropriate time, “ a governor, who pleaded not to be named
    because he was not authorized to speak for his camp said Saturday. “We
    have hard core evidence that these clowns (governors) voted without any
    complaint during the election. We are ashamed to have these shady
    characters as colleagues.” if you dont know now you know brother

  • Saadiana – Ankpa

    they would always prefer a “YES SIR”… of all the possible replacement, they choose the dieing Jang for NGF chairman. some that cannot even talk?

  • Ette

    Up you progressives. Please keep Faith with truth and merit as this is the way of progress. Wise guys whose strategy was SMARTLY structured to shame the gullible and corrupt PDP sycophants. Let all the progressives use this glorious platform to come together for greater victory in 2015 and insist on free, fair and credible election. God bless Nigeriia.

  • Afam

    I wonder what you @PM see about this election that you have been flogging it since yesterday..Both camp makes no percentage of Nigeria population..This is how our society and journalism have degenerated in them name of freedom of information…please expect first wives forum soon…

    • Jelili Gbadero

      Afam, you appear like someone crying over inability to get the apple. For us to believe you it may better for you to first condemn and reject the following positions (i) position of FIRST LADY-“DR.” MRS. DAME PATIENCE JONATHAN. , (ii) position of FIRST FAMILY, (iii) the dubious association headed by Gov Akpabio called PDP governors forum, (iv) Northern Governors Forum. You online soldiers of Jonathan celebrate these offices including the Nigerian Governor’s Forum which Jonathan himself used to climb to power. Bu because you cannot control it now, you want to destroy it. Right? Okay but if NGF should go, then YOU MUST FIRST CONDEMN THESE POSITIONS AS I OUTLINED THEM ABOVE. Think baby.

    • wax

      Thank you my broda… i wonder y they r so interested in this story… God bless you

      • Jelili Gbadero

        wax and afam, they are interested because you are interested. Isnt that coooool?

    • patience

      just as we have OFFICE OF FIRST LADY OCCUPIED BY PROFESSOR DR. MRS. DAME PATIENCE JONATHAN-abi now?

  • Afro Puffzz

    How can it be a secret recording if it was agreed by some and the subject found out about it..seen by Premium Times….who dey pay una for all this stories…Where is the Lawan/Otedola Video till tomorrow…fish brain people????

  • Ayo Yussuff

    To me is PDP is the real winner …not Ameachi..PDP never hid their dislike for The Forum, because they see it as another opposition party under the leadership of Ameachi…..PDP had two options .The Forum without Ameachi as leader, or a divided weak NGF with amaechi as leader ….NGF as is it now is a toothless bulldog… chikena!!!!

    • TOG123

      Well said Ayo..