by Dare Lawal
Regarding what truly transpired during the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election that produced Rotimi Amaechi as winner, there have been several versions and the whole truth has been scarce.
However if we believe the version of the Kano governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, then these are the takeaways.
He said it was he who nominated Jonah Jang to be the consensus candidate of the North, since the anti Amaechi side was insisting on having a consensus candidate.
“I nominated Jang and asked Suswam to support him. We gave them who should lead the minority group,” he said.
Kwankwaso who spoke to journalists on Monday at the Kano House in Abuja, said that the supporters of Amaechi used the NGF election to teach the other faction a political lesson as they were still at the elementary level of politics.
He said that they just could not accept the idea that someone would attempt to choose their leader, especially as Amaechi had shown that he had the capacity to lead the forum and possessed the ability to galvanise their interests. Kwankwaso said he did not believe Jang possessed these abilities.
“It was a game and we were trying to prove to them that nobody could shave our heads in our absence. That was why we proved to them that they were still at the elementary level of politics.
“We were not expecting anybody to choose for us. What we did in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was that when we realised that we would not get Shema or Isa (Yuguda) elected, we decided to give them their chairman.
“If another election is held today or tomorrow, Amaechi will get more than 19 votes because all of us who voted for him are much more determined to support him now. Amaechi is a good man and he has our support,” he said.
He expressed disappointment in the governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Shehu Shema, who he said he told would never get his vote at the time Shema was still jostling for the position.
“I told Shema that I was terribly disappointed in him. I told him, ‘you are my brother and friend and you never told me that you are contesting.’ I told him that I would never vote for him and that I was sure that he would lose the election,” he said.
Shema was not the only governor who Kwankwaso had issues with. He also criticised the governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio, saying that he was ashamed of him and that Akpabio needed to learn how to talk. “I think he should better keep quiet,” he said.
Kwankwaso also had warning for governors like Isa Yuguda and Gabriel Suswam who have pulled out of the Northern Governors Forum. He asked them to rethink because if they failed to retrace their steps, neither the governors nor their candidates can secure future elections in the north.
“I don’t see how any of them or their candidates can win any election in the north again if they are not in Northern Governors’ Forum,” he said.
Kwankwaso also warned against the gale of suspensions in the PDP, saying if the trend is not checked, many options are available to people being suspended, a situation which he said would be counter-productive for the party.