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Nyako Impeachment: Traditional Rulers Mediate, Lack Of Venue Delays Panel’s Sitting

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The Council of Chiefs and Emirs in Adamawa State on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 convened a meeting at the Lamido of Adamawa’s Palace in Yola, the state capital, to rescue Governor Murtala Nyako, and his deputy, Bala James Ngillari, from the move by the state’s lawmakers to impeach them.

A source close to the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Mohammadu Barkindo Aliyu, revealed that the meeting of the traditional rulers was geared towards intervening in the imbroglio involving the executive and the lawmakers in the state.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, told THISDAY that the traditional rulers met to deliberate on how to reconcile the lawmakers and the executive for peace to reign, stressing that considering the insecurity in the state, there was need to douse the political tension, because if it is allowed to escalate, it could throw the state into a bigger crisis.

Also, allies of the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar revealed that Atiku and the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, also met in Yola to strategise on ways to save the governor’s job.

However, as efforts got underway to save the governor’s job, Nyako, who was expected back in Yola yesterday, elected to stay back in Abuja to attend the National Council of State (NCS) meeting.

The governor, who refused to speak to State House correspondents when they besieged him, had in the recent past avoided state functions at the Presidential Villa.

Nyako, it was speculated by observers, was believed to have attended the council meeting on the urging of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is notorious for absenting himself from NCS meetings.

But yesterday, both men turned up, fueling speculation that Obasanjo might have decided to use the opportunity presented by the meeting to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene in the impeachment saga.

But should the effort to save Nyako’s job fail, his spokesman, Ahmed Sajoh, confirmed yesterday that the governor was considering resigning from office if the current political quagmire in the state snowballed into a crisis that might involve the loss of lives and property.

“The resignation is just an option. That is if the whole thing will lead to a crisis situation, there will be no option than to resign,” he said

He said his principal was not bothered by the impeachment moves against him, stressing that the governor had always said that posterity would vindicate him.
However, the seven-man committee constituted by the state’s acting Chief Judge, Justice Ambrose Mammadi, to investigate Nyako and Ngillari for alleged gross misconduct ran into a stumbling block over the venue of its sitting.

THISDAY checks revealed that the management of J & J Hotel Villa where the committee had its first sitting on Monday, sent the panel packing owing to concerns over insecurity and the heavy presence of joint armed security personnel in the premises, which resulted in scaring their customers away.
The situation was worsened when attempts by the Clerk of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Francis Gbenseso, to get

an alternative venue proved futile, as other hotels he visited equally turned down his request for the use of their premises.

It was gathered that the committee also moved to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) club, where the state chairman of the NLC tactically declined, claiming to have travelled for the lesser Hajj (Umrah) in Saudi Arabia.

When the NLC club failed, the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) centre was next place approached by the committee. However, there were divergent opinions from the leadership of the NUJ whether or not to give out the conference hall of the centre to the panel.

THISDAY learnt that a former national officer of the NUJ, who was said to have been in the forefront of negotiating the use of the NUJ centre, was alleged to have even made contact with the North-east zonal leadership of the union on the need to compel the Adamawa council leadership to release the centre to the panel.

It was also gathered that the divisions within the Adamawa NUJ leadership led to an emergency State Executive Council (SEC) meeting where a majority of the members kicked against leasing the NUJ centre for the committee’s sitting.

The rejection of the offer by the NUJ was premised on the fact that its members had unanimously agreed to be neutral on the impeachment saga in the state.

Having been turned down by the NUJ, the N170,000 already deposited by Gbenseso had to be returned by the union.

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