By Tunde Opalana
Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed has dismissed as irresponsible, falsehood and imaginary, insinuation that the PDP Governors Forum under his chairmanship has relegated the Peoples Democratic Party through role it played in resolving crisis between the governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.
He also described as hypocritical, condemnation of the Governors Forum’s commendation of President Bola Tinubu’s intervention in the Rivers State political crisis
In a statement by the Director General of the Forum, Hon. Cyril Maduabum on Thursday, the Bauchi governor said it is imperative to respond to the vicious, speculative media reports alleging that he was leading the opposition into oblivion by his recent courtesies to the President Tinubu, on his interventions in the recent crisis and non-interference in the proceedings of the Tribunals and the judiciary as a whole in its rulings.
Gov Mohammed clarified that it was the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdul-Rahwan Abdul-Razaq of Kwara State, an APC Governor, that took leadership in intimating Mr. President of the situation in Rivers State.
“All the Governors of 36 States supported the move. In particular, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, H.E Bala Mohammed, lent his weight and support to the move. It should be noted that Gov. Siminalayi Fubara is a member of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Vice-Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum. The President, H.E Bola Tinubu, GCON, agreed to intervene as requested., he said.
Dismissing the unfortunate insinuation, the statement read “it is most disingenuous for certain persons to lampoon the courtesies extended to Mr. President for his intervention. It should be noted that the events that played out in Rivers State had national security implications; it had the potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order. Indeed, the Rivers State Police Command acknowledged as much in its statement issued on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
“Mr. President as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and effectively the Chief Security Officer of the nation, had to intervene to nip the crises in the bud.
Indeed, Nigeria’s history is replete with instances where a development in one state could snowball and affect the whole country. Rivers State is one of the major oil producing States in Nigeria. A breach of peace in Rivers State, considering its strategic value and importance, no doubt, could affect other States of the federation.
“Indeed, it is a sign of good leadership and a high sense of duty that Gov. Bala Mohammed summoned and held an emergency meeting of the Forum immediately the Rivers State matter came up.
“We think that he deserves credit for this. In a communiqué issued by the PDP-GF at the end of its meeting on 31st October, 2023, the PDP Governors said “The PDP Governors were alarmed at the recent developments in Rivers State and welcomes the intervention of Mr. President to bring the crises to an end. The meeting urged all parties to the Rivers State crises to sheath their sword and resort to peaceful means of resolution. The Forum further offers its platform for a quick and just containment of the issues involved.”
“There is no way Governor Bala Mohammed, being a lover of peace in all parts of the country could fold his hands and fail to act or appreciate the good efforts of the President in finding solution to the crisis. This further explains the shuttle diplomacy employed by the PDP Governors’ Forum led by Gov. Bala Mohammed in visiting and counseling the dramatis personae in the crises.”
The Forum said those castigating the Chairman and other members of the PDP Governors’ Forum seem to have forgotten that the unity, peace and tranquility of the country transcend politics and political leanings.
“The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum has not in any way done anything wrong by thanking the efforts of the President to resolve the crisis in Rivers State.
“Senator Bala Mohammed is not trying and will not do anything to hand over the PDP, a leading and formidable opposition party to the President, who was elected on the platform of another party.
“The situation in Rivers State on 30th October, 2023 was not just a PDP affair. No.”, the statement added.