Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sack three governors of three states in Nigeria’s northeast area most plagued by terror attacks by members of Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group.
Mr. Akpabio made the suggestion at a meeting on Thursday between the president, governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a few other governors deemed friendly to Mr. Jonathan.
Our correspondent learned that President Jonathan had initially invited all governors, including those of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the meeting to discuss new strategies for tackling the worsening crisis of attacks by Boko Haram. However, a few hawks close to the president, led by Governor Akpabio, prevailed on the president to exclude APC governors and meet only with PDP and a few other “loyal” governors. The source said the governor of Akwa Ibom was instrumental in making the president to rescind the invitation to the APC governors.
A source at the meeting told SaharaReporters that Mr. Akpabio, who is also the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, urged the president to sack the three governors in the northeast whose states are most affected by the terror attacks and to declare a total state of emergency in the three states. The governors Mr. Akpabio wants sacked are Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State, and Kashim Shettima of Borno State.
Mr. Akpabio told Mr. Jonathan that it would also be in the best interests of the party and the president if the governors were not in office by 2015 when elections would be conducted in the country.
Our source said that some of the governors present at the meeting with the president were taken aback by Mr. Akpabio’s suggestion. He reported that the Akwa Ibom governor insisted that his suggestion reflected the views of the majority of PDP governors and stakeholders, adding that he had been mandated to push for that move. He added that Governor Segun Mimiko of Ondo State could confirm that most of the governors and political stakeholders want the president to take action against the three governors.
Mr. Akpabio stated that the sacking of the three governors now that the state of emergency is due for renewal would enable the president to appoint friendly administrators to oversee the three troubled states.
According to our source, “We were shocked when [Governor Akpabio] said that it was the position of the house that the three governors should be sacked immediately. The president asked whether that was true, but nobody said yes.”
The source said it was unclear whether President Jonathan would extend the state of emergency in the states or not, but added that the approach had failed to produce results