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
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.