Governor Rotimi Amaechi's impeachment looms

Forces opposed to the return of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, yesterday, made fresh moves to unseat him as governor.

This came as some governors have faulted his suspension from the party, saying it was an abuse of the party’s constitution.

Governor Amaechi himself unmoved by report of plans to impeach him, declared that if he was removed, he was satisfied with his achievements and has therefore called on the people of Rivers State to continue to defend their rights, noting that their votes would certainly determine his successor in 2015.

The anti-Amaechi group, it was learnt, decided at a secret meeting in Abuja on Monday night to impeach the governor within a month.

The decision to impeach Amaechi was taken as a last resort by his traducers apparently to prove to their sponsors that although they failed to clinch the NGF leadership through the ballot, they were still capable of getting the governor out of the way before the 2015 election.

It was gathered that shortly after suspending the governor from the Peoples Democratic Party, some powerful politicians met in the house of a PDP chieftain in Abuja and hatched the plot to impeach Amaechi from office.

A source close to the secret meeting, which was also attended by some governors in the PDP opposed to Amaechi’s re-election as the NGF chairman, said that the implications of Amaechi’s victory to the re-election bid of President Jonathan was thoroughly examined during the meeting, which lasted for about four hours.

The forces arrayed against the Rivers Governor, were said to have frowned at the audacity of Amaechi to stand election against the candidate favoured by the Presidency, thereby portraying the President in bad light.

The anti-Amaechi group was particularly miffed when one of the governors in attendance pointed out that the full implication of Amaechi’s victory meant that President Jonathan could lose the 2015 election, if the trend of the NGF poll was repeated and called for urgent actions to remove the governor.

The major plank of the anti-Amaechi plot, according to sources close to the matter, is to raise a large chunk of money and compromise a majority of the 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, who are still loyal to Amaechi.

The plot is to get at a reasonable number of the pro-Amaechi lawmakers and add to the five, who are loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, and use them to impeach Amaechi before the end of June.

However, when the foot soldiers complained that it would be difficult to infiltrate the pro-Amaechi lawmakers and get the required number to oust the governor, a governor from one of the South-South states, reportedly opted to take necessary steps to raise the N7 billion required for the ‘coup’ against Amaechi.

But Amaechi said, yesterday, that he had not done anything to warrant being impeached, saying that the plot against him by his detractors would fail.

The governor, who spoke through the state Information Commissioner, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, said that members of the state House of Assembly were men of integrity, who appreciated the good work that Amaechi was doing in the state and would not be cajoled to embark on illegality.

“The work that Amaechi has done in Rivers State is self-evident and the people are proud of their governor. If winning a free and fair election of a group of governors has suddenly become an impeachable offence, we leave it to Nigerians to decide.

“But we know that members of the Rivers State House of Assembly are men of integrity and we do not believe that they could be swayed by pecuniary promises,” Semenitari said.

Credit: Daniel, Henry Umoru & Jimitota Onoyume/VANGUARD