by Segun Odeleye
The Scoop today already has an excerpt of a combative interview which the Rivers governor, Rotimi Amaechi, recently granted. If you haven’t read it, you probably should, as the governor made some truly astonishing statements. But the Rivers governor has an uncanny ability to get himself in the news, so there is more Amaechi for us.
Aso Rock also continued its claim that Jonah Jang is the authentic winner of last May’s Nigeria Governors’ Forum elections despite the fact that Jang scored 16 votes to Amaechi’s 19. Speaking through Ahmed Gulak, the Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Aso Rock said that it recognises only Jang as the authentic NGF chair.
That statement from Gulak has forced a reaction from Amaechi, who accused Gulak of displaying “his complete contemptuous lack of basic democratic tenets and principles and sadly painted the President Goodluck Jonathan Presidency as a partisan undemocratic Presidency that has no regard or respect for the peoples’ mandate expressed through the ballot box.”
Amaechi said he was sad that despite the simple known fact that he won the NGF elections, “for the Jonathan Presidency (according to Gulak) 16 is greater 19!”
Speaking through his chief press secretary, David Iyofor, the governor sad that “the likes of Gulak in the Presidency are so ignorant and totally bereft of substance that they lack the capacity to comprehend the quantum of damage comments like that do to the President and the Presidency, they are paid with taxpayers money to serve and protect.”
The statement described Gulak as “repugnant,” saying that his statement has “told Nigerians and the world, that the Presidency (of course with President Jonathan) do not respect, have no regard and do not recognize the result of a free and fair voting process that produced a clear winner in the person of Governor Amaechi.”
Speaking further, Iyofor said, “It continues to baffle us, like most Nigerians that small, petty minds like Gulak in the Presidency will continue to make undemocratic comments that do enormous and sometimes irreversible damage to the President and the Presidency in their thoughtless, madcap self-imposed mission of persistently pouring intemperate, obnoxious and opprobrious invectives on Governor Amaechi. But this is not about Governor Amaechi. It is about respecting and recognizing a democratic, electoral process that produced a winner. And it does not matter whether they like the winner’s face or courage or ability to speak his mind. It does not matter whether the person disagrees with Mr. President on certain national issues; they are duty-bound to respect and recognize that democratic process that produced a winner.
“It is certainly rude, uncharitable, ill-mannered and nonsensical for Gulak, an appointed aide to condescendingly, derisively and superciliously refer to elected governors as ‘Amaechi Governors Forum’. Ahmed Gulak and his likes in the Presidency must be told in unambiguous terms that the Governors Forum is the internal business of the governors and who becomes their chairman can only be determined by the governors and the governors alone; and certainly not the Presidency. And for now, the majority of governors have democratically elected Governor Amaechi to serve as their chairman. Governor Amaechi remains the only authentic chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. Casting nasty aspersions on governors elected by their people will never change that fact.
“Finally, we want to assume that bigmouthed Gulak who talks first then think later was only speaking his wrenched and warped mind; and speaking for himself and not for our dear President, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or the Jonathan Presidency. This is why it is imperative and pertinent for the Presidency to dissociate itself and President Goodluck Jonathan from the unbefitting, perverse, delinquent and pigheaded comment of Gulak on who is the authentic chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum.”