President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday launched a veiled attack on the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, saying it almost constituted itself into what he called a “monster”.
He said if 50 per cent of the governors in the country talk and behave the same way some of these governors do, the president’s seat would have become too hot for him and somebody else would have come and managed the country.
Jonathan spoke when he received a delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders from the North-Central zone, who paid him a solidarity visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president, however, singled out governors from the zone for helping to stabilise the NGF.
He also lauded the zone for producing great leaders, including the present President of the Senate, David Mark, who was part of the delegation and who has been able to ensure stability in the National Assembly.
He said, “We thank you for this solidarity visit and for giving us a Senate President that has been able to stabilise the National Assembly.
“The governors from the zone have not been stabilising the country because of the way some of the governors talk and behave. If 50 per cent of the governors behave that way, probably, we would have vacated this place and allow others to come and manage it for us.
“But they have been able to help to stabilise the whole country. When the governors forum became a monster and we had a lot of challenges, it was the North-Central that came on board to stabilise the governors’ forum.
“So, the zone has been able to produce very great leaders, not just hat leaders but they are patriotic leaders, so, we will continue to work with this zone, we will continue to encourage you. As we approach elections next year, let us know the problems on time. We will work with you to ensure PDP continues to maintain the zone”.
Jonathan used the occasion of the visit to reassure Nigerians that the nation’s security architecture was being repositioned to conform to the present security challenges in parts of the country.
“The security personnel are moving in to strengthen the conventional security; that is the police. But we are working very hard with the National Security Adviser’s Office to make sure that the security challenges that we have across the country, whether in Borno State or the kidnapping in Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia and so on. We are coming up with different architecture that will deal with this insurgence. As we progress, we will begin to bring the situation under control”, he added.
Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, again tabled before the president the activities of cattle rearers and insurgents, who he said are now camouflaging as Fulani men.
He said going by recent happenings, those responsible for the attacks on citizens are well-trained, with a mission to kill and destroy, describing the manner of destruction as massive and unimaginable.
He listed the states most affected in the zone to include Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue.
The governor urged the president to concentrate more on the zone because if it is disorganised, his presidency would also be disorganized because that is where he has his stability base.
He said, “You have just directed the military to move in, they have started moving in between Nasarawa and Benue. As of last night, there were lot a security movement between Benue and Nasarawa States and we hope that the same thing will be applicable in Plateau State because the state has had a longer history of this than any one of us.
“Mr. President, what has worried us as governors who are also leaders is that in spite of the magnitude of destruction, no one person has been arrested and these destroyers move in large numbers.
“We are worried that without appropriate sanctions, they will continue with impunity because once people are not sanctioned, they don’t take that serious and I think the appropriate example must be shown.
“Mr. President, you must insist that your security must arrest these people, if you see the level of destruction and the fact that no person has been arrested, it becomes worrisome.
“Mr. President, how these people get their arms, because they are carrying very sophisticated weapons, is also an issue that we are worried about and I believe that Mr. President is also very worried because all of us swore to the constitution to protect lives and property”.