There seems to be no end in sight in the crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party as peace parleys among warring governors appear to be yielding no fruit.
Reports say following former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s meeting with pro-Amaechi governors who met him in Abuja recently, the overwhelming expectation was for the Rivers state governor and his opponent during the controversial Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) chairmanship election, Jonah Jang, to step down and allow a new NGF dispensation to take over.
Sources, however, claim both parties have chosen to stick to their guns refusing to shift ground in the political impassse which is threatening to tear the ruling party apart.
A source close to the two governors, on Wednesday, said, “There was nothing like that. Both of them have agreed to stick to their mandate.”
He added that Jang was “almost ready to step down because those who voted for him were at the meeting, Amaechi however said he needed to meet those who elected him since his supporters cut across party lines during the election.”
While responding to reports that Governor Rotimi Amaechi is under pressure to step aside from his NGF position, the Rivers Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari said he has not been asked to do so by his colleagues who voted him chairman with 19 to 16 votes on May 24 in Abuja.
She said, “What I know is that Nigerians are aware of the democratic process by which the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was picked. As far as I know Governor Chibuike Amaechi, I also know that he believes that the democratic process should not in any way be one that we will treat with levity.
“Everybody who knows Amaechi knows that he does defend democratic principles. What I am certain of is that the Chairman of the NGF as of today is Rt. Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
“But if all of the governors, especially the governors who voted for Governor Amaechi, ask him to step down, that would mean that the majority of the governors have decided that there should be a new chairman. Naturally, he would concede to his colleagues. But today, that is not the case.”
Meanwhile, the governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako has expressed his stand on the issue once more stating that he sees no reason whatsoever why Amaechi should be asked to step down for Jang adding that there’s is no basis for this call.
He said this yesterday after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan behind closed doors at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa. That was the first time Nyako would meet with Jonathan alone since the crises rocking the PDP and the NGF started.
Nyako said, “You are saying Jang should step down, step down for what? Did he win the election? What we are saying here is that if he is going to step down because he is second winner, then that is their business and it is not the business of others or the winner to tell him to step down. He is number two, he got the second highest votes and that is the way forward. Step down for what? From number two to where? Number three or four?”
Nyako insisted that Amaechi won the election adding that the Forum will be comfortable with a chairman with a cordial relationship with the president, not a “yes man” Jang is likely to be.
Nyako said, “The election in the governors’ forum has become an issue. It should not be an issue. When you say 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20, even someone who is in elementary school knows which one is higher.
“If one group got 19 votes and the other got 16, in a democracy even in the eyes of the people in elementary school, they know that 19 is higher than 16. It should not be turned into a controversy.”
When asked whether the NGF issue was discussed in the meeting with Obasanjo, he simply said, “It was part of it but you should understand the rationale.”