Video recording of Friday’s Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) election obtained by orijoreporter has revealed what transpired during the poll.
The election which has led to a cleavage in the Forum with a faction being led by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the pro-Jonathan camp led by the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, shows clearly that all 35 governors at the meeting were in full agreement during the conduct of the poll, the counting of the results and the decision to announce the outcome of the election to the public.
From the video which was recorded by one of the governors with his smart phone, it was observed that all the governors sat in a boardroom of the Rivers State Governor’s lodge where the election was held.
Only two people were observed standing – the Director-General of NGF Secretariat, Ashishona Okauru who was in charge of the election proceeding, the second person was another man whose identity was unknown but was assisting Okauru with the conduct of the election.
When the counting of votes began, from the video recording, the expectation was that Jang would win because the ballots that were initially picked were all in his favour.
This made one of the governors present to jocularly comment, ‘Jang in early lead’. It eventually turned out that he had only 16 votes. After the counting of votes, the DG was heard clearly saying, “It’s obvious that Rotimi Amaechi had won and all the governors in attendance agreed and a decision was thereafter taken by all those present to go out and announce the result to waiting journalists. This was eventually done by Okauru.
The video further revealed how the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, went to challenge his colleague who was recording the proceeding with his telephone and who responded, “If you don’t want to appear, why don’t you turn your back to the camera”.
Ondo State Governor, Dr. Segun Mimiko, on seeing how the election was going, said openly that he was stepping down as the deputy chairmanship candidate. The other governors, especially the pro- Amaechi camp were heard telling him it was unnecessary because if he didn’t step down, he would still lose. Which was what happened eventually.
The video also recorded profuse sneezing by one of the governors during the election, and he was observed using Kleenex to clean his nose intermittently. Meanwhile, the identity of the governors who made Amaechi’s victory possible has been revealed.
The governors had pledged to support the presidency’s candidate and abide by the party’s decision but at the last minute changed their mind. They are: Governors Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Makatada Wamako (Sokoto), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).
These governors with 11 opposition governors, according to our sources voted for Amaechi while Peter Obi (Anambra) and Segun Mimiko (Ondo) voted for Jang. Several meetings have been held ever since then particularly with Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Chief Tony Anenih who is PDP BoT chairman.