The chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) and Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, has for the first time since the leadership saga rocked the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said that Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi was duly elected as NGF chairman.
Governor Aliyu spoke yesterday at the turbaning of his deputy, Hon. Ahmed Ibeto, as Wali Raya Kasar Nupe and the state PDP chairman, Hon. Abduraman Enagi, as Sardauna Ayuka Nupe by Etsu Nupe Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, as part of activities to mark the Nupe Day celebration.
Aliyu, who gave an insight into what transpired during the NSGF meeting before the NGF election, stated that no northern governor betrayed anybody.
“Many people have been asking why governors could not unite themselves to elect a leader,” he said, “but we were united and elected a chairman. If other people recognised another person as chairman, we will solve our problem; we must recognise Amaechi as the NGF chairman.”
He however said that Plateau State governor Jonah Jang emerged as a candidate from the north after the NSGF discovered that there were undercurrent issues between Bauchi State governor Isa Yuguda and Kastina State governor Ibrahim Shema.
He added that the NSGF waded in and it was agreed that Jonah Jang should contest and let the two people drop their ambition. “Even at that, I told them that we must go and insist on consensus but where election took place, the conscience of the people prevailed,” he said. “Thirty-five Governors voted 19 for the other and 16 for a particular candidate. Those who go around destroying reputation should just bury their hatchet; we cannot go to 2015 with factions and disunited. There will be no progress. We must unite and come as a group”.
He added: “We must articulate our position as a state, region and as a people; whoever offers us the best, we will go with him. That is politics of democracy — recognising the equality of other people.”