As Governors under the platform of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) take sides and give individual accounts of what transpired last Friday during its chairmanship election, Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, has described Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as a desperate man who wanted to hold onto the position by all means.
Suswam stated this in an interactive programme on Radio Benue aired Tuesday in Makurdi to mark the 2013 Democracy Day anniversary.
Suswam accused his Rivers counterpart of cajoling other Governors to endorse his emergence as chairman of the forum.
According to Governor Suswam, “before that election, 18 out of 19 of us at the Northern Governors Forum meeting had met and unanimously endorsed Governor Jonah Jang as our consensus candidate without exception.
“That position was also endorsed at the PDP Governors’ Forum, where the governor of Niger State presented our position to the effect that we had endorsed Jang and we all unanimously adopted it without exception.
“When we met at the Nigeria Governors Forum, we noticed that our constitution which was registered was produced at the meeting and we objected to it because we had not seen it in two years.
“And before then, 19 of us had signed an endorsement of Governor Jang as our candidate, the document and signatures are there and none of them can deny it.
“Now, we were confronted with Governor Amaechi who insisted on contesting and that he had printed ballot papers for the election. It was strange because the same person who was contesting had printed ballot papers for same election.”
“Of course it was alien to us and we objected to it vehemently. Why the desperation that you must be chairman? I must recall that before now, we had never conducted elections into the Governors’ Forum.
“All we do is to nominate somebody to lead, after all I am not compelled to attend all these forum meetings. But we do this for the purpose of pear review and also share intelligence, nothing more.
“Being the chairman of the forum does not make you a better governor than any of us. It all shows some level of desperation, otherwise people say they have elected their leader and you are insisting that you must be chairman,” he stressed.