Two former military heads of state led the embattled Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako to a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday night in Abuja as part of the efforts to save Nyako, who is battling to escape impeachment by legislators in his state.
The PUNCH learnt that the meeting was at the instance of the two ex-heads of state.
A source close to the meeting confided in one of our correspondents that the two former dictators’ intervention rested on the fact that Nyako was a mutual friend.
Nyako is a retired Vice-Admiral and one-time Chief of Naval Staff under ex-dictator Ibrahim Babangida.
The source said, “The two military leaders took the governor to meet with the President last night. They, however, did not get a commitment because the President insisted that the governor should withdraw his contentious memo to the Northern Governors’ Forum and publicly apologise for his indiscretions.
“The governor, who did not appear prepared to buckle, said he was prepared to leave office instead of taking any action which has the capacity to plunge the state into anarchy.”
Nyako had in April in a memo to the Northern Governors’ Forum alleged that there was a full-fledged genocide against the northern states and that the Federal Government was using the attack on Boko Haram to massively kill northerners.
He also said that virtually all the soldiers of Northern Nigerian origin recently recruited to fight Boko Haram had been deceived in that aspect.
He had said, ‘‘They are being poorly trained, totally ill-equipped, given only uniform and are killed by their trainers in Nigerian Army training centres as soon as they arrive in the Nigerian Army camps being used by the so-called Boko Haram insurgents. Virtually all the Nigerian Army soldiers killed/murdered in these operations so far are of Northern Nigeria origin.
“The Administration has also hired militia men from all across, especially North Africa, who have been deceived into accepting to come because they were made to believe that they would be fighting infidels.”
The ex-heads of state’s intervention also coincided with a similar effort by emirs from the eight emirates across Adamawa State under the leadership of the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Mohammadu Musdafa. The emirs met in Yola, on Tuesday, as part of efforts to resolve the political impasse.
Nyako on Tuesday refused to entertain questions from journalists over the impeachment process instituted against him by the Adamawa State House of Assembly.
Nyako had set aside his ordeal to attend a meeting of the Council of State, presided over by Jonathan.
The Adamawa governor was the cynosure of all eyes when he arrived at the Council Chambers venue of the meeting at about 10:40am.
His colleagues kept visiting his seat to identify with him and get first-hand information on the development in his state. Nyako however remained calm throughout the period.
As soon as the meeting ended, the governor was the first to make his way out of the Presidential Villa. He refused to answer questions from journalists.
Meanwhile, members of the seven- man panel set up to investigate Nyako and his deputy, James Ngillari, for alleged gross misconduct could not meet after its Monday’s inaugural meeting.
It was learnt that the management of J & J Hotel Villa, where the committee members held their inaugural meeting shut their doors against the committee owing to what they described as “security concerns.”
The hotel management was said to have complained that the heavy presence of security personnel and the armoured personnel carrier stationed in front of the hotel premises was scaring away customers.
The clerk of the Adamawa House of Assembly, who was saddled with the responsibility of seeking for an alternative venue, was also said to have been turned down by other hotels as words spread about what transpired in J and J hotel.
An attempt by panel members to use the premises of the Nigeria Labour Congress Club was also said to have been equally rejected.
It was also learnt that the that the panel’s overtures to the Adamawa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists to use the Press Centre led to a division among the journalists.
An emergency meeting of the union was said to have been held and a majority of members kicked against letting out the union’s conference hall for the panel’s sitting.
Unconfirmed report indicated that an initial deposit of N170, 000 was made by an emissary of the committee but the money was refunded when an overwhelming majority of the NUJ members rejected the proposal to use the hall.