The Presidency is worried by Nigeria Governorsâ€™ Forumâ€™s insistence on playing a role in the investigation into Saturdayâ€™s helicopter crash which claimed the lives of Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa and former National Security Adviser Andrew Azazi in Bayelsa State, investigations have revealed.
The NGF, in a communique after its emergency meeting in Abuja on Monday, apart from demanding a role in the probe into the crash also resolved to hire the services of a consultant to be part of the investigation.
A presidential source, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, said the Presidency was not comfortable with the demand.
The source said the Presidency felt that the demand was capable of eroding peoplesâ€™ confidence in the government.
He said, â€œThe thinking within the Presidential Villa is that the governors are not helping the Federal Government.
â€œThe Presidency is of the opinion that the governors are even inciting Nigerians against the Federal Government and asking them not to have faith in what we do as a country.
â€œI must tell you that the Presidency felt betrayed by the statement and I think the President would say so anytime he meets with the governors.
â€œThe import of the statement, according to government thinking, is that if the governors canâ€™t believe in what the Federal Government does, how can ordinary Nigerians do?â€
Asked if the Federal Government would accede to the demand of the governors, the source said the Presidency was in a dilemma over the issue.
The source said, â€œIf the Federal Government says no, it may be interpreted to mean that it has something to hide. If it says yes, it may also anger the military, whose helicopter crashed.â€
The governors had called for thorough investigation and openness into the air crash.
The communiquÃ© of the meeting was read by the Chairman of the NGF, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
It said, â€œThe forum further resolved to engage a consultant to participate in the investigation process or serve as an observer.â€
The governors pledged their support for directive of the President for a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the helicopter crash.
The meeting was attended by the governors of Imo, Abia, Ogun, Anambra, Adamawa, Rivers, Kogi, Ondo, Kebbi, Yobe, Niger, Gombe, Sokoto, Edo, and Plateau states.
The governors of Enugu, Bauchi and Nasarawa States were represented by their deputies.
Efforts to get the reaction of presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, did not yield result as he did not answer the several calls put through to his mobile telephone.