Presidential dinner: Why Jonathan did not meet Amaechi – Presidency explains

Rotimi Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi

by Isi Esene

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak has warned opposition parties not to politicise the prevention of Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers state from exchanging pleasantries with President Goodluck Jonathan during the presidential dinner which took place in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to Gulak, the incident was purely a security issue which should not be politicised.

The governor, who was sitting two tables away from the President, had risen to greet him but the security operative attached to the President stopped him halfway.

In order not to create a scene at the event that had nearly all his colleagues and two  heads of government (Joyce Banda of Malawi and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia) in attendance, Amaechi quietly returned to his seat and waited for  about five minutes before leaving the venue.

Read the Punch Newspapers report below:

But as  the Action Congress of Nigeria and Congress for Progressive Change berated Jonathan over  the incident, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak,  said it was tantamount to a breach of protocol and security if Amaechi was allowed access to  his  boss  who  was already seated before the governor arrived.

Gulak  said,  “The President has a good relationship with all state governors and he meets with them regularly. The case in point is a pure security issue and it should be treated as a security issue that should not be politicised.

“The question the ACN and others who may want to politicise this issue need to ask is whether the President arrived at the venue of the dinner and was already seated before the governor arrived.

“Usual practice across the world is that once the President arrives a place, nobody whether a governor or not, is allowed entrance. That is the protocol. Even(Barack)  Obama  of the United States cannot be on his seat and a governor will be allowed to come in.

“If that was the situation in this case that the President was already on his seat,  it would have been a breach of protocol and security for any security person to allow the governor access to the President. Such a security person would have been sanctioned if he had done that.”

Wondering  why the ACN  was interested in the  matter, the presidential aide advised the opposition political parties to   “concentrate on issues concerning them and stop politicising everything.”

The ACN  had in a statement by its  National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, condemned the action of the operative and called on Jonathan to order an immediate  probe into  it.

It said, “We are making this call because we do not believe that, in spite of the reported frosty relations between the two, President Jonathan – as the father of the nation – will lend the weight of his high office to such a demeaning action as exhibited by the presidential security personnel.

“To believe that anyone occupying the esteemed office of the President of one of Africa’s most important nations will be a party to a situation in which any security aide will wilfully fence a state chief executive from paying his respect to the President at such an open gathering will be to think the worst of the occupier of that office. That is why we have chosen not to believe that this indeed occurred, and why we are calling on Mr. President to tell Nigerians that ‘it ain’t so’ “We shudder to think of what efforts are being made – including the use of national institutions – to undermine Gov. Amaechi if the treatment reportedly meted out to him at the dinner has the approval of the powers that be. We are even more worried at what will happen to a governor from the opposition who falls out of favour with the President, if a governor from the same party as the President can be so publicly humiliated.”

ACN said it was particularly incumbent on the President to clarify the report because Amaechi, the authentic Chairman  of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum,  extended an olive branch to him  by attending the dinner, despite the fact that  he (President) was publicly supporting the losing faction of the NGF, in what was being seen as a “democratic faux pas.”

The party said the President must learn to separate politics from governance by rising above petty partisanship as he steered the affairs of state.

On its part, the Congress for Progressive Change   said it was clear to many discerning minds that “the government of President Jonathan  is being run like a mafia organisation where you have the head at the Villa.”

“This is the kind of price we pay when we sacrifice competence on the altar of exigency,” the CPC  said through its  National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin.

The party added, “We have always said it that the way President Jonathan is running this country;  he will  run it  aground.

“No Nigerian can be proud of what is happening in a situation where nations of the world are improving their democratic credentials; we are going towards further isolation.

“A situation where a chief  executive is being blocked by security apparatus of the President, you ask yourself what hope mortals like us have under the  Jonathan government.”


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Comments

  • Amechi supose 2 b in b4 mr president bcuz GEJ supose 2 d last pesin 2 com in bt Amechi hv no respet 2 mr president bcuz he was nt brougt up well. Amechi shd read his bible abt respet

    paul June 28, 2013 8:59 am
  • Governor Amaechi is a very spiteful man, he only did what he did knowing fully well that the Presidents security operatives won’t allow him through, at the end making the general public have the feeling that the President doesn’t want to talk to him. He talks everyday about respect not being giving to him by the state commissioner of police, the question should be has he shown any to Mr President?

    Obi Olowu June 28, 2013 9:11 am
  • Governor Amaechi once again displayed primitive radicalism and uncoordinated arrogance.Even in the university,in any function,when the vice chancellor is seated,nobody is allowed to enter,let alone shaking hands or exchanging pleasantries with him.If Amaechi had sincerely wanted to exchange pleasantries with the president,he would have done it before the commencement of the meeting.Governor Amaechi just wanted to be mischievous,thereby creating chance for opposition parties that do not know what opposition is,to talk rubbish as Governor Amaechi once again displayed primitive radicalism and uncoordinated arrogance.Even in the university,in any function,when the vice chancellor is seated,nobody is allowed to enter,let alone shaking hands or exchanging pleasantries with him.If Amaechi had sincerely wanted to exchange pleasantries with the president,he would have done it before the commencement of the meeting.Governor Amaechi just wanted to be mischievous,thereby creating chance for opposition parties that do not know what opposition is,to talk rubbish as Governor Amaechi once again displayed primitive radicalism and uncoordinated arrogance.Even in the university,in any function,when the vice chancellor is seated,nobody is allowed to enter,let alone shaking hands or exchanging pleasantries with him.If Amaechi had sincerely wanted to exchange pleasantries with the president,he would have done it before the commencement of the meeting.Governor Amaechi just wanted to be mischievous,thereby creating chance for opposition parties that do not know what opposition is,to talk rubbish as Governor Amaechi once again displayed primitive radicalism and uncoordinated arrogance.Even in the university,in any function,when the vice chancellor is seated,nobody is allowed to enter,let alone shaking hands or exchanging pleasantries with him.If Amaechi had sincerely wanted to exchange pleasantries with the president,he would have done it before the commencement of the meeting.Governor Amaechi just wanted to be mischievous,thereby creating chance for opposition parties that do not know what opposition is,to talk rubbish as usual.

    Joseph June 28, 2013 9:50 am
  • Ameachi is just a stupid man just trying as much as possible to gain popularity using the oppositions, well as for me I thank God he can’t fool me. Jonathen is the president of federal republic of Nigeria whether he like it or not, so he better respect him all this nonsense won’t take him anywhere!

    Mshelizah June 28, 2013 10:02 am
  • All these are signs of complications in the political terrain and it reflects lack of goodwill from the duo.

    enape27 June 28, 2013 12:04 pm
  • People of south south shld be careful of Amaechi, someone like him could out of desperation sarcrifice his mother,father,sister, brother, wife n children or anybody arnd him for money or power! He is a wicked selfish arrogant betrayer inshort he is a MUMU.

    otitoloju June 29, 2013 2:09 pm
  • A servant cannot be greater than his master, amachi should take it easy, so that his regime may be long.

    Regibest June 29, 2013 4:12 pm
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