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Offline Ade Omo Ade

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How The Election Was Won And Lost


IMMEDIATELY Rotimi Amaechi was announced winner of Friday’s Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election, he said; “Today, our democracy was tested and proven. Democracy is about participation. The aim of democratic governance is for everyone to partake in winning.

“Today, the governors have spoken with one voice, reaffirming our faith in democratic governance as the hope of Nigeria’s future.”

The Guardian investigation revealed that events leading to the election were meant to be conducted with utmost secrecy as it turned out that in every faction there were moles and perhaps, traitors.

The peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum (PDP-GF) could not convince all her members to vote against the incumbent, because they were not comfortable with the choice of Jonah Jang for chairmanship of the larger forum, for what was touted as “his political tactlessness”.

Before the meeting, some governors had signed a document before voting was done to identify with Jang, hoping that they would be able to convince others to accept him as a consensus candidate. These include the governors of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Abia, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo, Plateau, Kaduna, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Katsina, Yobe, Cross River and Taraba states.

The Northern Governors Forum, with which Rotimi Amaechi enjoys some sympathy also held a meeting prior to the NGF meeting, where sectional sentiments were employed by some members to sell the candidature of Jang.

They tried to neutralise the rising profile of Amaechi in the forum. This did not work because; the political clout of the pro-Amaechi group among the Northern Governors far surpassed the Jang influence.

A source said Gabriel Suswam, who would have being used to mobilise support for Jang had already taken a stand to be neutral. So it became difficult to get someone that would convince the likes of Babangida Aliyu.

Furthermore, Isa Yuguda and Ibrahim Shema, who were the frontline candidates propped up by anti-Amaechi group were subtly convinced to relinquish their ambition and give their support to Jang, because they didn’t want to disgrace their own. So it was better they stepped down for Jang, who has very little political weight.

The situation was further compounded by opposition governors, who felt the intervention of President Jonathan in the affairs of the NGF was not healthy for Democracy.

At a point, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti hurried out when he noticed the hurried exit of some PDP governors. He said, “before they go out to address the press that they did not vote, let me tell you that all of them voted in a transparent manner and they were defeated.”

These opposition governors were said to have advised colleagues to look at the larger interest of Nigerians and resolved that everyone should vote as they are guided by their conscience, but should not forget the intention to also preserve the integrity of the country.

At the end, the returning Officer of the election, the Director General of the NGF Okauru said, “The governor of Yobe was not present. We counted all the votes and the chairman, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State emerged winner with a total of 19 votes, against the governor of Plateau State, who secured a total of 16 votes.

“Now, for the vice-chairman, the governor of Ondo State withdrew from the race and yielded the position to the governor of Zamfara State, who, as from today, is the vice-chairman of the NGF.”A


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