By Danlami Nmodu
More revelations are unfolding about the intrigues at the the meeting of Nigeria Governors’ Forum last Friday in Abuja .Newsdiaryonline.com has learnt that Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomhole (ACN) made “at least two landmark interventions at the nick of time to save Governor Rotimi Amaechi and protect the integrity of the election which he won” a source said.
One insider said as soon as it was time to vote, some the anti Amaechi elements began to clamour for him to step down first as the chairman of the forum before the election.Newsdiaryonline.com learnt it was the intervention of Governor Adams Oshiomhole that put paid to whether or not Amaechi should step aside before election.
According to an insider ,Oshiomhole pointedly asked his colleagues:” how many of us stepped down in our various states as governors before seeking relection?” Of course ,everyone knew the answer and so it became impossible to insist Amaechi must step down before seeking reelection as chairman NGF.
But the battle was not over yet for Amaechi.Newsdiaryonline.com also learnt that as soon as the first hurdle at the meeting was cleared by Amaechi , Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo state (Labour Party) led the group of anti-Anti Amaechi men who suddenly said the election should be done by open ballot , which supporters of each candidate would raise up their hands to be counted.
Again,Oshiomhole came to the rescue.He insisted the elections must be by secret ballot in order to protect the integrity of the process.Reference was also made to the value of secret ballot in the electoral process that brought all of them to office.
Eventually , the election was held and Amaechi won to the shock of those who came with endorsemen t. Newsdiaryonline.com learnt that Amaechi expressed deep appreciation to Oshiomhole after the voting. “They have not been the best of political friends but Oshiomhole did not lose sight of the bigger picture and he intervened on the side of Amaechi to ensure a credible process”, a source said.
“The intrigues over his reelection has provided Amaechi with an opportubity to know who his true friends are”,another insider told Newsdiaryonline.com.
It is however an open secret that the NGF has become factionalized afterwards.Though Amaechi won the election by 19 votes to defeat Plateau State Governor David Jang who got 16 votes,Jang now claims he is the authentic chairman of forum since he had been endorsed by some of his colleagues even before the voting.How can endorsement before an election be superior to actual votes?That is the question begging for an answer.
For now, the crisis rocking the forum continues unabated as the anti-Amaechi forces are believed to be working for President Goodluck Jonathan who has allegedly vowed to stop the Rivers State governor .Presidential Spokesman Reuben Abati has however insisted that Jonathan was not involved in the NGF election and the crisis afterwards. The president has also asked the governors to resolve their differences .