Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party has asked the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, not to seek re-election as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
Amaechi had maintained that he would seek re-election for the NGF chairmanship tentatively slated for Friday, not minding if he wins or loses.
But the PDP elders, who spoke on Wednesday under the aegis of the Rivers State PDP Elders’ Forum, pointed out that their findings had shown that the governor’s insistence on seeking a re-election as the NGF chairman, was aggravating the political crisis in the state.
In a copy of a letter signed by the convener of the forum, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba; the Secretary of the forum, Dr. Silva Opusunju; and three others and addressed to the governor, the group explained that Amaechi ‘‘frank and open disposition’’ appeared to have pitted him against other forces.
“Since Your Excellency’s emergence as the chairman (and spokesman) of the NGF, your open and frank disposition appears to have generated controversies that are considered inimical to your position as governor and interests of Rivers State in general.
“Your continued leadership of the NGF will not only aggravate the already volatile political atmosphere, but also escalate the threat to peace, security, good governance and development of the state,” the letter to the governor read.
According to them, Amaechi’s quest for re-election as NGF chairman is responsible for the overheated polity, adding that the issue has caused a serious collateral damage to the progress of the state.
The elders stated, “It (quest for re-election) is a highly unnecessary distraction that will decelerate your developmental strides and productivity as the governor of Rivers State.
“Given the above background and with all due respect, it is our most humble opinion that His Excellency should defer to the overall interest of the people of Rivers State and reconsider his decision to seek re-election to the office of chairman of the NGF.”
Meanwhile, ahead of Friday’s election of the NGF, the Northern Nigeria Governors’ Forum is to hold a crucial meeting in Abuja on Thursday (today).
Feelers from the forum on Wednesday in Abuja indicated that the governors would meet to take a common position on how to vote during the NGF election.
The northern governors are divided along the lines of those who wish to see Ameachi, who is the current NGF chairman retain his seat, and those rooting for Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State.
The source told one of our correspondents, “Nothing is being left to chance. Those who want Amaechi to retain his seat are reaching out to those who want Shema to replace him.
“For now it is too close to call as the Americans will say because people like the Chairman, Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, who is one of Ameachi campaigners, is telling his colleagues that retaining Amaechi is the only way governors can retain credibility.”