Rivers State Governor dismisses unveiling of parallel secretariat for the Forum.
The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, on Tuesday rebuffed suggestions that he should step down as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, following the emergence of a faction of the Forum headed by his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang.
He said he will stick to the mandate freely given to him by his colleagues in the election two weeks ago in which he polled 19 votes to Mr. Jang’s 16.
Mr. Amaechi told journalists in Abuja after inspecting the NGF secretariat belonging to his faction that it was wrong to ask him to relinquish the office of the chairman he was elected into and reminded Mr. Jang and his self acclaimed deputy, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, that God hates liars and heaven is real.
“Mimiko and I are Christians and I think he’s a good Christian and one of the sins against God is the sin of lying, I am not saying he is lying but I am saying Mimiko voted,” the Rivers State Governor said while reacting to Mr. Mimiko’s statement in the media that he (Mimiko) did not vote during the controversial election.
“I think they suspected that they will (not) win and Mimiko was one of those who refused to vote, but when they whisper among themselves and they thought they will win, they all casted their votes. Those governors who were pro-Amaechi voted first and those against him voted last. Tell Mimiko that I said he voted. Mimiko voted, everybody there voted.”
Also speaking about Mr. Jang, Mr. Amaechi, who was in company of the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, said, “I want to urge Jang because he said he is Christian, to know that God watches over everybody and whatever you say, say it according to God because beyond NGF you and I know that there is heaven and you can’t go to heaven if you don’t tell the truth and stand by the truth.”
The Rivers State Governor, while responding to the video clip of the election, which leaked to the media last week, explained that when he was informed that one of the governors was recording it, he did all he could to protect the interest of all the governors by calling the governor to order.
He said he has now realized that the governor was doing the right thing as the video has turned out to be a historical evidence about the election.
He said, “I was protecting my colleagues who did not want it recorded and the governor who was recording said he will not stop and thank God he did not stop. If he had listened to me and stopped, maybe it will be more controversial than it is now.”
He urged his colleagues to focus more on those issues that unite all the governors and Nigerians such as the fight against poverty and polio rather than engaging in divisive issues, stressing, “Those are the things that are killing the poor.”
He regretted that the governors are busy fighting in Abuja and in their state capitals over the NGF election while Nigerians are dying of poverty and hunger.
He dismissed the unveiling of another secretariat of the Forum by the Jang faction, saying that there cannot be two secretariats because the governors must come together to work and resolve their difference.