Nigeria Governors' Forum: Gov. Rotimi Amaechi vow to stick to his mandate

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday vowed not to compromise on the second-term mandate given to him by a majority of 17 governors at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election in Abuja on May 24.

The Peoples Democratic Party last week suspended Amaechi over alleged anti-party activities. But analysts are of the view that he was suspended by the PDP for refusing party directive not to recontest the NGF headship.

Amaechi, who spoke when he visited the headquarters of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum located at Asokoro, Abuja, on Tuesday, said there was no need for him to step down after the conclusion of the election. He was accompanied by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

Amaechi was reacting to a question on whether he and his opponent in the election, Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, were ready to step down for a consensus candidate in order to bring peace to the troubled Forum.

He said he would stick to the mandate that was freely given to him.

He said, “That is the mandate that was freely given and I will stick to that mandate. I think that it is up to Nigerians to know that nothing pays more than democracy.

“The right to choose who you want to choose and the governors having made their choice, we can only do one thing but stand by the choice the governors have made.

“We should ensure that we don’t allow what is happening now to affect the stance of Nigerians in the course of the 2015 democracy. We are mature enough to manage our own democracy and our own election process.”
Currently, both Amaechi and Jang are laying claim to victory in the election with each having his supporters and loyalists among their colleagues.

The Jang faction of the NGF last week opened an office in Abuja and it already has the acceptance of President Goodluck Jonathan.

On why there was no consensus, he said the election was conducted because of the governors’ inability to reach a consensus unlike before when he said some governors would agree to step down.

He said, “Basically, you know that when individuals are not able to reach a consensus the best form of choosing a leader is by election.

“All times we always had consensus because the other partner will say I am not going to run.

“In this case none of us agreed to step down for each other and the only way to go about it was to vote and we voted and one person emerged.

“I want to urge governor Jang because he said he is a Christian to know that God watches over everybody and whatever you say say it according to God because beyond NGF, you and I know that there is heaven and you can’t go to heaven if you don’t tell the truth and stand by the truth. I am not saying he is not saying the truth, I am not saying he is not standing by the truth.

“I am just saying that nobody can go to heaven when he is not saying the truth.”
He appealed to members of the staff of NGF to remain focused, and assured them that their salaries would be paid.