- Political News
- Published Date
- News Agent
- Hits: 141
Amid the incessant harassment and repeated efforts by the Presidency to politically emasculate him, Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Chibuike Amaechi,
has said enough is enough; and has warned President Goodluck Jonathan and his handlers to hands-off the affairs of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), else he will quit the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and join the opposition merger All Progressive Congress (APC).
Amaechi sent the missive to Jonathan through the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, when the latter led a high-level delegation to Port Harcourt Tuesday; ostensibly to plead with Amaechi not to defect from the PDP. Among other BoT members on the delegation were the PDP National Vice-Chairman, Dr. Sam Jaja, Prof. Jerry Gana, Chief Tonye Graham-Douglas and Chief Ebenezer Babatope. The visit came amidst growing speculation that Amaechi along with his supporters were preparing to decamp to the APC.
Presidential sources confided to Huhuonline.com that Amaechi’s body language and his recent romance with governors and members of the APC coalition was giving Jonathan and the leadership of the PDP white nights afraid that any such a move will have a domino effect that will put Jonathan’s 2015 presidential ambitions on the balance. To which end, Jonathan is said to have dispatch Anenih; “the old wise man” to plead with Amaechi not to abandon Jonathan at his greatest hour of need by defecting to the opposition.
Anenih, accompanied by other members of the BoT, met Amaechi behind closed doors and although nothing officially filtered from the meeting, sources told Huhuonline.com that Anenih virtually went down on his knees to plead to Amaechi, saying Amaechi was a formidable asset to the PDP and to the President owing to the fact that he led Rivers State to give Jonathan the highest number of votes in the 2011 Presidential elections.
Amaechi, the source told Huhuonline.com, gave conditions for his continuous stay in PDP. Among other things, Amaechi is quoted to have told Anenih that he would remain in the PDP only if Jonathan ends all covert attempts to oust him as NGF chairman and to henceforth stop meddling with issues concerning his chairmanship of the NGF and resolved the oil well dispute between Rivers and Bayelsa States. Amaechi is also said to have told Anenih to tell the President that using a serving minister from Rivers State to create crisis in the state and the state executive of the PDP is a self-defeating strategy.
A press release issued by Amaechi’s office said Anenih described the Governor as a force to reckon with and one of the leaders of the ruling PDP. The statement said Anenih and his team were in Rivers State to consult with Amaechi over important national and party issues in the PDP.
o which end, Amaechi told his apparently uninvited guests that the PDP in Rivers State was peaceful. He recalled that the PDP supporters in the state gave two million votes to President Goodluck Jonathan during the last election and assured him that his administration would encourage the people of the state to continue to vote for the PDP during elections.
Hear Amaechi: “Chairman, like we did say to you, PDP in Rivers State is peaceful. We also have told you that we produced two million votes for the president. So we thank you for coming. All we are saying to you is tell the party to please treat us well so that we can encourage our people to continue to vote for PDP. We are members of PDP and we will remain members of PDP.”
Anenih’s visit to Port Harcourt coincided with a statement by the PDP Tuesday that its National Working Committee (NWC), headed by the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and BoT were not working at cross-purposes.
It has also emerged that during Anenih's meeting with the Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, last week, he told the PDP BoT chairman that he and other northern governors on the platform of the party do not recognise Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, as the chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum.
However, as members of the BoT were trying to appease Amaechi, Huhuonline.com gathered that some northern PDP governors have made it clear that they do not recognise Akpabio as the chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum. Governors, who hold the position, include Wamakko, who did not hesitate to make this known to Anenih last week, as well as Governors Sule Lamido and Babangida Mu'azu Aliyu of Jigawa and Niger States respectively. Wamakko was said to have made it clear that Akpabio's position was untenable and would foster disharmony in the party.
A group, the Forum for Equity and Justice, had on Monday asked the Anenih-led BoT to leave the Tukur-led NWC alone so that the latter could concentrate on its duties.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, in a statement, denied that there was a rift between the BoT and NWC, saying: “We are aware that this group of meddlesome interlopers and political jobbers with no fixed address has been commissioned to stir up controversies and to portray the BoT as working at cross-purposes with the NWC.”
According to Metuh, “the BoT had in no way usurped the functions of the NWC, explaining: “His reconciliatory visits complement the reconciliation and consolidation tours embarked upon by the NWC and they have been yielding desired results. The NWC is solidly behind the activities of the BoT in further uniting the party which is central and cardinal for the party ahead of 2015.”