The NGF Election: A Show Of Shame



Nigerian governors, under the aegis of the overbearing Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, showed they were not cut  out for leadership at the election recently conducted to elect a new chairman of the forum. Leadership, they say, is by example. If 35 governors could not conduct an election devoid of rancour and flimsy allegations, then what example are they showing the rest of Nigerians?

Though Governor Rotimi Amaechi polled 19 votes to defeat his opponent, Dr Jonah Jang, who polled 16 votes, the NGF has been factionalised because the losing side, which is ostensibly being supported by President Goodluck Jonathan, accused Amaechi of rigging the election. It sounds incongruous that more than fifty years after Nigeria got her independence, election rigging is not only just a part of our national psyche but is still being cited as reasons why politicians lose elections. The NGF election, to say the least, is a show of shame and national embarrassment.

Now the NGF is in a disarray. Though the presidency has denied having a hand in its crisis, Nigerians know the hand that pulls the string,  that it is not unconnected with the row between President Jonathan and Governor Amaechi.

There is no gainsaying the fact that because of the rift engendered by Amaechi’s perceived  political ambition, the president is bent on removing Amaechi as the chairman of  the forum. But this is one of many things that the president is getting wrong. Politics is not a do-or-die affair but a system whose wheels are oiled by some inalienable rights and freedom. Such rights include the right of dissent and the freedom to aspire to any political office.

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Many political analysts believe the fall-out of the NGF election is a sign of things to come in 2015. And if the manner which the governors voted is anything to go by, one would see that, in a bid to feather their nests, alliances and mergers are already being formed. Any serious political analyst can easily predict  the positions that the governors and their followers would take at any point in time.

Though the president has washed his hands off the current imbroglio, he cannot distance himself from the accusation that he helped build and strengthen the Frakenstein monster that the NGF has become. In a bid to become the substantive president after the death of late President Musa Yar’Adua, as well as in the 2011 presidential election, President Jonathan courted the governors and arrogated so much powers and concessions to them.

But the question is, in whose interest are the governors and the president acting? It is high time the players in this show of shame called themselves to order. They should stop heating the polity because of their selfish interests and inordinate political ambitions. Instead of focusing on good governance and service delivery, they are busy fighting over who assumes which positions. The masses are tired of these chicanery and pretensions.

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