Chairman of a faction of the Nigeria Governorsâ€™ Forum and Plateau State Governor, David Jang, yesterday accused his Kano State counterpart, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, of deceiving Nigerians with a spurious claim that the Presidency bribed some friendly governors with N2billion each to divide the NGF.
Jang, who denied the bribe allegation, claimed that it was actually Kwankwaso and not the Presidency, who spearheaded the division of the NGF and asked him to own up rather than look for scapegoats.
Kwankwaso had on Wednesday at the Government House Kano, alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan had given N2billion each to the 16 governors who voted for Jang at last yearâ€™s Nigeria Governorsâ€™ Forum election in Abuja, which the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, won.
The governor claimed that the 19 governors, who supported Amaechi to win the vote did not get any gratification from the Presidency, describing the action as illegal and unfair.
But according to Jang, it was the dishonest role played by the Kano governor during the NGF election in May last year that led to the present division amongst the governors and not the Presidency.
Jang in a statement signed by Kassim Yakubu, asked Kwankwaso to examine his conscience and decide whether he was honest in openly nominating him for the NGF chairmanship only for him to join the opposition and vote for another candidate during the election.
In the statement entitled â€œKwankwasoâ€™s dishonesty and deceit divided Governors, not Presidencyâ€, Jang also denied that the Presidency gave some governors N2 billion to divide the forum.
Jang declared that Kwankwasoâ€™s act, which was aided by a few other governors, sowed the seed of discord amongst the governors, claiming that the Kano governor and his group were now finding it difficult to cope with the consequences of their action.
â€œWe feel that it is as a result of their guilt that they have now resorted to throwing unsubstantiated allegations out there believing that Nigerians do not have any memory of the events that led to the division of the forum.
â€œGov. kwankwaso should tell Nigerians if I gave him money to nominate me. That grand deceit of nominating me and doing something else is the foundation of the division. He should tell Nigerians how and when the N2billion was paid.
â€œWhen he proudly made it public that he was being smart by nominating me and leading others to vote against me, what was he expecting?
â€œThat deceit was the beginning of playing politics with the Nigeria Governorsâ€™ Forum and now, he is not happy with what he created. He can always come back to the forum of the chairman he nominated,â€ Jang boasted.
Jang called on Nigerians to always test the veracity of statements designed to mislead and incite the public as Nigeria is bigger than any group of individuals who in seeking relevance have resorted to bending the facts and playing politics with all issues regardless of the long term effects on the nation.
Kwankwaso made his allegation during a meeting between him and a team from the secretariat of the Amaechi-led NGF on Peer Review Mechanism led by the forumâ€™s Director-General, Mr Ashishana B. Okauru.
The governor said, â€œEach of the 16 governors that voted Governor Jang has benefited from N2 billion from our own money given to them free of charge. All of us from Amaechi side were given nothing. That is not being fair; that is not even correct and it is illegal.
â€œWe are having difficulties in coming together as one forum because the federal government is not respecting democratic tenets. For rapid progress to ensue, governors in the country must work as brothers,â€ the governor lamented.