There are doubts that the election of a chairman for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum will hold as scheduled on Friday.
This follows the insistence of pro-President Goodluck Jonathan governors who do not want the election to be conducted by ballot but by gathering the signatures of those who are against the continued stay in office of the Rivers State Governor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, as chairman of the NGF.
As reported earlier by The Eagle Online, Jonathan, who is against the continuation of Amaechi in office as the head of the NGF, had commenced the process of gathering the signatures of some governors.
The plot is that once the signatures are up to 20, the list would be presented at the NGF meeting, with the position that the governors on the list do not want Amaechi to continue in office.
And this would be without holding election as specified by the constitution of the NGF.
The 20 governors would then announce their choice of candidate for the position, also without election.
It was gathered that some state governors, including Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State and Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, have been coerced into signing the pro-Jonathan governors’ paper.
It was learnt that they signed the paper last week after the National Economic Council meeting held in the Presidential Villa.
Jonathan was said to have summoned the governors to his office where he told them of his position.
It was gathered that only Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State turned down Jonathan.
Security reports alleging corrupt practices were said to have been used to coerce some of the governors.
With the fierce division among the governors on the mode for the conduct of the election, insiders informed The Eagle Online that the election might not hold on Friday as scheduled.
It was equally learnt that Jonathan was yet to get the envisaged 20 signatures as some of the Peoples Democratic Party governors have spurned his overtures.
Jonathan was elected on the platform of the PDP just like most of the 36 state governors.
The governors elected on the platform of the country’s opposition parties are also reported to have vowed not to support Jonathan in the actualization of his desire to stop Amaechi from having a second term owing to the face-off between them.
It was learnt that the only opposition governor whose vote for Amaechi appeared shaky as at press time was Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State.
Mimiko, it was learnt, is already perfecting plans to return to the PDP from Labour Party, the platform for his election.
Amaechi has already indicated his desire to seek a second term.
Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, who was initially tipped for the position of the NGF chairman, has also picked his form to stand for election.
So also has Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State obtained the form for the election.
It was gathered that Jonathan has thrown his weight behind Yuguda for the election.
This was a last minute decision as the Presidency actually wanted to use Shema as the head of the NGF.
Sources told The Eagle Online that Shema would step down for Yuguda once the time for election comes.