As a prelude to the intrigues ahead of Monday’s election in the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), the Presidency in early hours of Monday upstaged the incumbent chairman of the NGF, governor Chibuike Amaechi, who also doubles as chairman of the Chairman of the PDP governors Forum.
In an apparent move to weaken Amaechi’s chances of returning for a second term as chairman of NGF, his South-South colleague and governor of the Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio was unveiled as the new helmsman of PDP governors forum after a four- hour meeting which stretched into the earlier hours of Monday morning.
President Goodluck Jonathan-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to whittled the NGF, famed for being overtly powerful, with the creation of the faction called the PDP Governors’ Forum.
The meeting held at the villa was attended by Governor Amaechi, other PDP governors and party faithfuls.
On realisation of the success of the operation to unseat him as chair of PDP governors, Amaechi left the venue of the meeting.
Presented to the press by the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur who was also at the meeting, Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, said the party opted to form its own governors’ forum In the face of the new political merger, the All Progressives Alliance (APC)
He, however, denied that this new forum intends to edge out Amaechi as NGF chair, noting rather that the new PDP governors’ forum would not in any way affect the operation of the Nigeria Governors Forum.
Akpabio who said his election was borne out of the urgent need for the party to re-strategise, noted that other parties, the ACN, CPC and APGA, could form their own governors’ forum, and choose their own leaders.
On Amaechi, Akpabio said, “There was no move to remove the Rivers governor as chairman of the Governors’ Forum. There was never a discussion to remove him. His tenure will end by April, though he has the right to recontest.”
He also said there would be no split in the larger forum. “There will be no crack.
Other parties are also meeting. There will be no crack but it will strengthen the forum”.
This scheme to remove Amaechi is tied to accusations that he is using his position to advance his presidential ambition as a possible running mate to Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State in the 2015 election. This ambition has put him against President Goodluck Jonathan, who is believed to be eyeing a second term.