President Jonathan told a delegation of stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of the North Central region, led by Senate President David Mark, on Monday, how the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, almost sent him packing from Aso Rock.
The president, who made this comment at the presidential villa, Abuja, said the NGF turned itself into a monster.
At the meeting, the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, told the president that those who have been attacking villagers in Benue State in recent weeks are not Fulani herdsmen but insurgents parading as cattle herders.
President Jonathan, while noting that he almost vacated his seat for governors at Aso Rock, said, “We thank you for this solidarity visit and for giving us a Senate President that has been able to stabilise the NASS. The governors from the zone who have been stabilising the country because the way some of the governors talk and behave, if 50 percent 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 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.”
On the issue of attacks on farmers by insurgent posing as herdsmen, the president assured the delegation that security personnel were moving in to help the police.
“But we are working very hard with the NSA office to make sure that the security challenges that we have across the country are contained – 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 insurgency. As we progress, we will begin to bring the situation under control”, he said.
The president, however, couldn’t give the assurances hoped for by the delegation for the rehabilitation of roads in the North Central region, because according to him, his hands were tied because of budgetary constraints.