Yar'Adua:How South-South Govs Influenced Colleagues

THISDAY Newspaper-Ndubuisi Ugah

Fresh facts are now emerging on how the Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum (NGF) arrived at its position which averted plans by the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) to invoke Section 144 of the constitution in declaring President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua unfit to continue in office as the nation’s number one citizen.

Sources close to the meeting of the NGF attended by 35 of the state governors at the Kwara State Governors Lodge on Tuesday, said the governor from the Niger Delta states led the debate and convinced their colleagues that they should stop all attempts to declare Yar’Adua unfit.

Governors Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Adams Oshio-mhole (Edo), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), who spoke in turns first at the meeting were vociferous that the Forum should make it clear that it will not allow anything which will upset the present arrangement in which President Yar’Adua is left in peace to recuperate while acting President Goodluck Jonathan is left to run the affairs of the nation with the support of all stakeholders.

At the meeting, each of the Niger Delta governors who spoke on the issue was said to have urged their colleagues to ignore the “sabre rattling” by some elders of the zone like Chief Edwin Clarke, who are making comments that “create the impression that our people want Yar’Adua out so that their ‘son’ could take over.”

“That view point does not represent the position of our people. Niger Delta people are solidly behind President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and are fervently praying to God to restore his health. We however appreciate his decision to take time off to look after his health while respecting the existing arrangement that makes Acting President goodluck Jonathan continuing to fully take charge of affairs of state, until the President returns to office,” one of the governor’s said at the meeting.
Oshiomhole was said to have referred the Forum to the position of Niger Delta zone articulated in their communiqué issued after the meeting in Benin, Edo State capital on February 26.

The governors then went on to argue that those agitating for change of status quo in Presidency as at today maybe arguing for the same action to be taken “but they have different motivations.”
One of the South-south governors analysed the anti-Yar’Adua group into seven sub-groups including ethnic jingoists, those angling to become vice president or ministers in a Jonathan’s presidency, those seeking revenge after losing out under Yar’Adua and those seeking relevance and control in a new order.

Other motivations identified by one of the governors are the leaders of the opposition parties seeking to exploit the present situation, those seeking to reverse one government policy or the other other and the Save Nigeria Group working alongside other professional groups.

It is believed that the South-south governors are being careful to ensure that their position and that of the zone to produce a president in 2015.
The South-south zone governors are hinging their position on the fact that the current zoning formular in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not favour a Jonathan presidency from crystallising in 2011.


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