Northern leaders ask governors to ignore Jonathan, vote their conscience

Lawal Kaita

The Nigerian governors will elect a new chairman for the NGF.

Some Northern leaders on Thursday asked Nigerian Governors to ignore the pressure from the presidency and vote whomever they deem competent to head them as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF.

The NGF will on Friday elect a new chairman to succeed the outgoing chairman, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, who has been having a running battle with President Goodluck Jonathan.

Although Mr. Amaechi is seeking a second term as NGF chairman, he is expected to face a stiff challenge from governors loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, leadership.

The northern leaders said the governors should ignore the presidency and vote whomever they believe is competent.

A former Kaduna State Governor and PDP chieftain, Lawal Kaita, said that the interest of President Goodluck Jonathan in the exercise constitutes a threat to peace.

Mr. Kaita said on phone that the timing of the election is wrong based on the security situation in the country.

“There is tension in the country, tension around the governors. Look at the issue of the insurgency, in my opinion the election should be suspended for now,” he said.

He said “everyone knows President Jonathan does not want the emergence of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, but Katsina State Governor, Shehu Shema.”

Another northern leader, Tanko Yakassai, urged the governors to vote wisely and not succumb to any form of disservice to Nigerians.

“The eyes of the world is on them and therefore, they should not do anything that would tarnish their own image or tarnish the image of the country as a whole,” he said.

Another northern leader, Junaidu Mohammed, said, “Any attempt to circumvent the constitution for whatever reason or to interfere in the running of those branches or tiers of governance is prone with danger”

“Any attempt to reduce the position of the governors to the errand boys of the president, through bullying, intimidation and blackmail, must be resisted by the governors themselves and must be condemned by Nigerians,” he added.

Mr. Mohammed advised the governors to “search their conscience and do the right thing and if the president and the cabal around him attempt to impose their choice on them with a view to achieve 2015, the governors should break up the Governors Forum.”

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