Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has met with President Goodluck Jonathan over the impeachment process instituted against him by members of the state House of Assembly.
The PUNCH gathered on Monday that the meeting took place in the Presidential Villa, Abuja at the weekend.
A Presidency source, who did not want to be named, told one of our correspondents that the move by the state lawmakers to remove the governor was discussed at the meeting.
The source added that the President informed Al-Makura that he had no hand in his travails.
“The meeting was a cordial one. Yes, the issue of the impeachment process was raised and the President made it clear to the governor that he had no hand in his travails,” the source said.
Another source close to the governor also confirmed that the meeting was part of his boss’ troubleshooting efforts.
“His Excellency told us that he met with the President and that the man (Jonathan) told him that he had no hand in the impeachment move. Of course, the governor said he had no reason to doubt the President,” he said
The source said this amid indications on Monday that Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers in the state were divided over the impeachment move against the governor.
Investigations showed that eight out of the 20 members (all PDP ) who signed the impeachment notice, had made a U-turn.
It was gathered that among other issues, the question of who would succeed the governor played a major role in dividing the lawmakers at a meeting in Abuja on Sunday.
The PUNCH learnt that the intervention of the state traditional rulers also made some of the lawmakers to back out of the impeachment move.
It was gathered that the lawmakers disagreed on whether the Speaker, Musa Mohammed, or the State Deputy Governor, Damishi Luka, should succeed Al-Makura.
It was learnt that an argument between Aliyu Umar and Francis Orogu over who should succeed the governor triggered the division among the lawmakers.
Sources said that some of the lawmakers opposed the initial agreement that the deputy governor should succeed the speaker.
They said that if they succeeded in removing Al-Makura, the speaker would succeed him.
Efforts to reach Umar and Orogu were not successful, as several calls to their their mobile telephones did not go through.
It was learnt that attempts by the Assembly to direct the state Chief Judge, Justice Sulaiman Dikko, to set up a panel to investigative the allegations against Al-Makura had failed.
A source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the chief judge was insisting that the lawmakers should comply with the provision of the constitution by ensuring that the governor was personally served the impeachment notice.
The source said, “Although the investigative panel will be set up two weeks after serving the impeachment notice, the lawmakers have reached out to the chief judge, who is insisting that they should abide by the constitution.”
But Al-Makura has said that the impeachment move against him would not stand.
The governor spoke with journalists in Abuja through his Senior Special Assistant (Public Affairs), Alhaji Abdulhameed Kwarra.
Kwarra, who insisted the governor had yet to be served the impeachment notice, attributed the plot to lack of legislative decorum and immaturity.”
He said, “What is instructive is the fact that as I speak to you now, on authority, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has yet to effect that service on the governor .’’