Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Akpabio Blasts Amaechi Over NGF Chairmanship … Says Amaechi Planned Self Imposition

Gov. Akpabio
By James Victor
Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has berated Gov. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state over what he alleged was Amaechi’s attempt to impose himself as chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum for second term.

Speaking in a television interview over the weekend, Gov. Akpabio said the move by Gov. Amaechi is contrary to the constitution that guides the forum, saying that members objected to the attempt by Gov. Amaechi to seek re-election as chairman of NGF.

According to Gov. Akpabio, the forum agreed that the chairmanship of NGF will only be for one tenure. Gov. Akpabio disclosed that in a bid to seek for re-election, the pro-Amaechi group amended the constitution of the forum to suit the purpose, which other members of the forum objected because the move is not in tandem with the constitution that set up the forum.  

He said the governors’ agreement at the onset of the NGF was that the chairman would serve for only one term so that there won’t be acrimony amongst the governors “The southern part will do two years and the northern part will do two years for equity” Akpabio said.
Reacting to the allegation made by Gov. Godswill Akpabio on Gov. Amaechi’s self imposition as chairman of NGF, the Rivers state commissioner for Information, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari debunked the allegations saying that the comment made by Gov. Akpabio is geared towards discrediting Gov. Amaechi.

She disclosed that the crisis rocking the NGF has nothing to do with Gov. Amaechi seeking to be re-elected as chairman of the forum.  She said as a responsible Governor whose leadership style has carved a niche for him, Amaechi would not meddle into matters that will cause acrimony as alleged by Gov. Akpabio.

Gov. Akpabio is presently the chairman of PDP Governors Forum which many see as a plot to whittle down the strength of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).  Insisting on the provisions in the constitution of the NGF, some forces inside the forum maintained that no chairman is allowed to run for a second term in office.  

The anti-Amaechi group in the forum said Amaechi could not seek re-election based on the constitution guiding the forum.  The NGF is not alone in the moves to stop Amaechi from seeking re-election. It is also believed that some forces within the PDP hierarchy may have given their support to stop Gov. Amaechi from seeking re-election as chairman of the forum.  
The PDP leadership accused the forum of having laundered Amaechi’s image so much that Amaechi can boldly challenge the Presidency by making unguarded utterances. Meanwhile, the election of the next chairman of the NGF is scheduled for June, 2013.

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