By Henry Ibya, Abuja
The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has given reasons why he would not step down as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF following suggestions from some quarters.
Speaking on Tuesday against the backdrop of the opening of a secretariat by the factional NGF group led by Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, the Rivers State Governor vowed to stick with the mandate freely given to him by his colleagues in the election which took place two weeks ago. At the election, Amaechi polled 19 votes to emerge victorious against Jang who scored 16 votes.
Amaechi told journalists in Abuja after inspecting the NGF secretariat belonging to his faction that it was wrong to ask him to relinquish the office of the chairman he was elected into reminding Jang and his self acclaimed deputy, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, that God hates liars and heaven is real. He was emphatic that contrary to report in the media, the Ondo State Governor did vote during the exercise.
“Mimiko and I are Christians and I think he’s a good Christian and one of the sins against God is the sin of lying, I am not saying he is lying but I am saying Mimiko voted,” the Rivers State Governor said.
On the factional NGF Chairman, Amaechi, who was in company of the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has this to say: “I want to urge Jang because he said he is Christian, to know that God watches over everybody and whatever you say, say it according to God because beyond NGF you and I know that there is heaven and you can’t go to heaven if you don’t tell the truth and stand by the truth.”
On the video recording of the NGF election, Amaechi stated that he had initially wanted to stop the recording of the proceedings at the event. “In fact, I did all I could to prevent it but my colleague who engineered the recording remained adamant. I was protecting my colleagues who did not want it recorded and the governor who was recording said he will not stop and thank God he did not stop. If he had listened to me and stopped, maybe it will be more controversial than it is now.”
He urged his colleagues to focus more on those issues that unite all the governors and Nigerians such as the fight against poverty and polio rather than engaging in divisive issues, stressing, “Those are the things that are killing the poor.”
He regretted that the governors are busy fighting in Abuja and in their state capitals over the NGF election while Nigerians are dying of poverty and hunger.
He dismissed the unveiling of another secretariat of the Forum by the Jang faction, saying that there cannot be two secretariats because the governors must come together to work and resolve their difference.