Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Forum of Former Deputy Governors of Nigeria has called for the amendment of the constitution of political parties in order to create room for former deputy governors to be admitted as members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the parties.
The National Chairman of the Forum and former Deputy Governor of Abia State, Chris Akomas, stated this on Monday when members of the forum paid a courtesy visit to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdulahi Ganduje.
He wondered why Senate Presidents, Deputy Senate Presidents, Speakers, Deputy Speakers of the National Assembly are members of NEC but the deputy governors are not with all the experiences and the followership they have.
Akomas said: “That is something that bothers us. We hope that situation will be reversed.
“The other thing has to do with protocol. Sometimes we take it as an omission, we don’t see it as a commission, deputy governors are skipped in the affairs at the state, except it is ok at our personal and interpersonal level. That is another thing that needs attention.”
Responding, the National Chairman of the party, Ganduje, said there was no doubt the position of the deputy governor is the most controversial position in governance, not only in Nigeria but all over the world.
He said: “Except in some nations where some of the governors contest in his own party. The deputy governor can contest in another party. And win the election and they work together.
“In Nigeria, it has to be the same ticket. The position of the deputy governor as I always say is the most controversial position. That is God has no deputy. Everybody is a servant. It is a no go area. But we as humans, the constitution has to provide for it as a spare tire. And we all know the importance of a spare tire. If you don’t need it when you are normal then you will need it when you are in trouble.
“Deputy governors will have to contend with one issue. The issue of sycophancy. What I was trying to say was that our position was faced with difficulties. When you are walking with a governor side by side, so that if he talks to you so that you can hear him, and you talk to him he can hear you, sycophants will say you are rubbing shoulder with him. If you are in the front and there is any accident, or dangerous elements, even snakes, and you say let it bite you first before biting your principal, sycophants will say you have overtaken him.
“If you respect your principal and you stay behind, let him go ahead, sycophants will say you are developing a lukewarm attitude, therefore you are retreating. Now, tell me which position will you take? It is difficult. That is why I decided to write a book. Even up till now that problem is still on. In fact, if it persists, we are trying to organise a national conference on the relationship between governors and their deputies.”