Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has warned his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang, to stop impersonating him as chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
Mr. Amaechi was on May 24 reelected chairman of the NGF, defeating his only challenger, Mr. Jang, 19 to 16 votes, despite massive opposition from the presidency and the top hierarchy of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
But despite losing the election, captured on video, the Plateau State governor had continued to lay claim to the chairmanship of the NGF, and had indeed set up a parallel office for the Forum.
On Saturday, Mr. Jang released a statement inviting state governors to a meeting of the NGF.
But reacting to the statement on Sunday, Mr. Amaechi warned the Plateau governor to respect himself and stop parading himself as chair of the Forum.
“… As chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, elected by my colleagues to safeguard their integrity and that of the forum it has become imperative for me to request my brother and Governor Jang to remain within the confines of decorum and cease to impersonate me and to stop parading himself as NGF chairman,” the Rivers governor said in a statement. “There is only one chairman of the forum, duly elected by a vote tally of 19: 16 on Friday, May 24, 2013.”
Read full statement below.
“On Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16, reports in the media credited to my brother governor, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State announced that he has called for a Nigeria Governors’ Forum meeting. Ordinarily I would have ignored these reports as I do not imagine that as governors who hold our people’s mandate through the democratic process of free and fair elections, we would do anything to impugn our integrity.
“However as chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, elected by my colleagues to safeguard their integrity and that of the forum it has become imperative for me to request my brother and Governor Jang to remain within the confines of decorum and cease to impersonate me and to stop parading himself as NGF chairman. There is only one chairman of the forum, duly elected by a vote tally of 19: 16 on Friday, May 24, 2013.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I as chairman of the NGF have not called for any Governors’ Forum meeting for Monday, June 17, 2013. The only meeting scheduled for Monday June 17, is a meeting of all Governors with His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan scheduled to hold at 9pm at Aso Rock Villa. All governors should please ensure attendance at this meeting with Mr. President.
“I wish to reassure my brother governors that this storm shall pass and we all will be reunited as one family committed to our nation’s unity and supporting Mr. President in his vision for a Nigeria that safeguards the rights of all its citizens to good governance and democratic norms.
“Governor Jang is my brother and friend and I harbour no ill feelings against him, but it is important that he stops this impersonation, as it could threaten all the good work we all have done together.
“May I remind Governor Jang that there is a legal action that has been instituted against him by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State from parading himself as the chairman of NGF. As leaders elected by our people, Nigerians are closely watching us. We must comport our selves according the dictates and principles of democratic and lawful practices and norms.”
CHIBUIKE ROTIMI AMAECHI
Governor, Rivers State/Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum(NGF)