By JOSEPH ERUNKE
ABUJA — Contrary to belief in some quarters that last week’s meeting of President Goodluck Jonathan with the Speaker and four other members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly resolved to drop the ongoing impeachment against the state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, the meeting was only aimed at giving the president progress report of the impeachment.
Vanguard gathered that Jonathan convened the meeting to hear from the lawmakers following outcry by the All Progressives Congress, APC, faithful and the attendant street protests by the governor’s loyalists that the 20 legislators that signed the impeachment notice were being pushed by the leadership of the state’s opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to oust the governor because of his party affiliation.
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, had himself, earlier in the week met with the president, ostensibly to intervene in the impeachment threat against him by the legislators.
But the Nasarawa State chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Yunana Iliya, who feigned ignorance of the president’s meeting with the legislators in a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, said even if any meeting took place, it was not aimed at making the lawmakers to back down in their action.
He said no intervention would save the governor as members of the state House of Assembly had never gone out of the constitutionally required provisions in the discharge of their functions regarding the impeachment.
It was gathered that at the meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last Thursday, the five members of the state legislature, mandated by others to meet with the president, presented the 16-count charge that forms the grounds of the impeachment to the president to convince him that they were not on a self-seeking mission.
An aide to one of the legislators that attended the meeting disclosed that the legislators, apart from taking time to brief the president of the alleged impeachable offences the governor has committed, told him (the president) the heart-rending story of how the governor had maltreated them.
“Although, I did not accompany my oga to the meeting, I was privy to hear that at the meeting, they told the president how the governor has been using thugs to intimidate them at the assembly complex over some of their actions he (governor) perceives to be contrary to his policies,” he said, pleading not to be named.
Jonathan, who was said to have listened to the legislators with rapt attention, was said to have remained speechless for a while before contributing to the meeting.
Iliya, who told Vanguard that he was not averse to any meeting with the president and leader of the party regarding the current ugly political development in the state, noted that there was no reason for such a meeting because the legislators were right in what they were doing.