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NGF Crisis: Kinsmen Dump Jonathan, Back Amaechi

NGF Crisis: Kinsmen Dump Jonathan, Back Amaechi

CURRENT crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), took another twist on Tuesday, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in Southern Nigeria, as President Goodluck Jonathan's Ijaw kinsmen dumped him in support of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, the embattled chair of the polarized forum.

Despite his frequent denials, Jonathan is largely seen as a frontline figure stoking the NGF fire all in a seeming game-plan for his 2015 re-election strategy.

President Jonathan is an Ijaw by ethnic nationality. But, one of the largest Ijaw clans, Kalabari, is not with him in the unsettling political face-off between him and Amaechi.

AkanimoReports says eminent Kalabari chiefs, sons and opinion leaders have pledged their unalloyed support for Governor Amaechi who is also enjoying the support of the opposition parties.

They pledged their support during a solidarity visit to Amaechi in Government House, Port Harcourt.

Rrepresentative of the Kalabari monarch, King Prof. T. J. T. Princewill on behalf of all Kalabari people, expressed their fervent support for the governor and pledged to stand by him in his current travails.

According to them, ''at certain times in the life of a man the public expression of the love, goodwill, admiration and support of friends and relatives may be highly desirable. For us as Kalabari people, this is a good time to show our solidarity with our son, brother, friend and governor, Chibuike Amaechi. The Kalabari people as an ethnic nationality would continue to work with you. We pledge our loyalty and unflinching support to your  administration”.

They praised Amaechi for his laudable achievements so far in the Kalabari area and the state generally. They congratulated him on his re-election as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

“May we use this opportunity to thank you for the swiftness and persistence with which you have committed to this battle to restore Soku and other Kalabari communities to the Kalabari Kingdom. It would be apposite, in the same vein, to join other men and women of goodwill resident in Rivers State to tender our gratitude to you for the growth and development in the core areas which your administration is focused on. The investments in health, particularly primary healthcare; in education infrastructure, enhancing the capacity of teachers, and quality assurance; and in agriculture, especially fish farming, compel us to say thank you”.

“It would be an oversight not to thank you for sending our children to study abroad under generous scholarships. Neither would it become us to fail to say thank you for our brethren in various positions of responsibility especially the Right Honourable Otelemaba Dan Amachree, the Honourable Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly in whom we are well pleased. He has maintained the principle of separation of powers while aligning the making of good laws to a shared vision for development. It is our hope that the confidence you have reposed in them will take you all to the finishing line”.

“May we quickly congratulate you on your re-election as chairman of the NGF, while appealing to your colleagues and indeed all other Nigerians including the media to see how all the contending issues can be resolved amicably in the interest of the nation. For us as Kalabari people, we can confidently say that despite all odds, you have provided visionary and purposeful leadership for the state. We cannot pretend that your administration has delivered on its mandate. We align with all your pro-people initiatives and express our unalloyed support to your administration. We will stand with you at all times”, they said.

They offered to arbitrate in any political misunderstanding the governor might have had with other Nigerians and appealed for peace in the state.

They said: “Our dear governor, we would not like to be associated with the proverbial ostrich, which allegedly hides its head in the sand, rather than confront and overcome challenges. We have inferred that there is a political crisis in which Your Excellency is in the eye of the storm. Your Excellency, we might not know the background or the dynamics of all these events but we perceive that all is not well between you and President Jonathan. The President is your brother and in-law. Brethren are bound to disagree but as the Holy Bible informs us, we need not let the sun go down on our anger. It is against this background that we call for reconciliation of all the parties to the disputes, whether real or perceived. We are not merely calling on you and the president to settle your differences; we are offering ourselves as emissaries and mediators. We do not want history to judge harshly as having stood by when two brothers had a slight misunderstanding which we allowed to grow into a huge conflagration. When you are free from these distractions, we believe-that you would re-double your focus on delivering good governance in Rivers State. Our expectation is that it would result in measured political, economic and social empowerment for Rivers people, but especially Kalabari people”.

Responding, Amaechi thanked the people of Kalabari  for the solidarity visit and support, and promised to complete ongoing projects in the Kalabari area.

“I will finish the projects that I have started in the Kalabari area. My administration will complete the Trans-Kalabari road that will get to Bakana...”, Amaechi said.

He promised to build a primary healthcare centre in Bille and construct a model secondary school in Buguma and Akuku-Toru when the people provide the land for the projects. He said his administration would build a world-class referral General hospital in Degema also in the Kalabari kingdom when the people provide the land. 


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