Presidency misfired on NGF, says Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday ridiculed the Presidency for insisting that Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State is the authentic chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
Amaechi said it was unbelievable that the Presidency should openly align itself with a group over the chairmanship schism in the NGF, despite clear evidence that such position was undemocratic.
Amaechi’s position was made known in a statement by his spokesman, David Iyofor, on Monday.
He was responding to a report in a national daily which quoted Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, as saying that his principal did not honour the invitation to the NGF retreat in Sokoto because it was organised by the faction not recognised by the Presidency.
Iyofor recalled the outcome of the election that returned his boss as Chairman of NGF, and argued that the Presidency could only be telling the world that it did not believe in free and fair election if it opposed Amaechi as NGF Chairman.
Parts of the statement read: “It continues to baffle us, like most Nigerians, that small, petty minds like Gulak in the Presidency will continue to make undemocratic comments that do enormous and sometimes irreversible damage to the President and the Presidency in their thoughtless, madcap self-imposed mission of persistently pouring intemperate, obnoxious and opprobrious invectives on Governor Amaechi.
“But this is not about Governor Amaechi. It is about respecting and recognizing a democratic, electoral process that produced a winner. And it does not matter whether they like the winner’s face or courage or ability to speak his mind.
“It does not matter whether the person disagrees with Mr. President on certain national issues; they are duty-bound to respect and recognize that democratic process that produced a winner.
“It is certainly rude, uncharitable, ill-mannered and nonsensical for Gulak, an appointed aide to condescendingly, derisively and superciliously refer to elected governors as ‘Amaechi Governors Forum’.
‘Ahmed Gulak and his likes in the Presidency must be told in unambiguous terms that the Governors’ Forum is the internal business of the governors and who becomes their chairman can only be determine by the governors and the governors alone; and certainly not the Presidency.
“And for now, the majority of governors have democratically elected Governor Amaechi to serve as their chairman.
“Governor Amaechi remains the only authentic chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Casting nasty aspersions on governors elected by their people will never change that fact.
Finally, we want to assume that Gulak who talks first then thinks later, was only speaking his mind, and speaking for himself and not for our dear President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or the Jonathan Presidency.”
The statement advised President Jonathan to dissociate himself from the statement.

Daily Independent
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