18 governors attended Saturday’s meeting.
In a dramatic twist, the loser in the recently concluded Nigerian Governors Forum elections and Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, made a victory speech at an inaugural meeting of some governors, where he presided as chairman.
After the NGF election which was held on Friday, Asishana Okauru, the election returning officer, counted the votes and declared the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the winner. Mr. Amaechi scored 19 votes to Mr. Jang’s 16.
Governors loyal to the Plateau governor, led by Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, cried foul alleging that the election was rigged.
They vowed not to recognize the newly elected Chairman and announced that Mr. Jang will begin to perform as the NGF chairman with the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, as the deputy.
Mr. Amaechi’s supporters waved the allegation as tantrums and held that they have proof that the election was free and fair with Mr. Amaechi gaining the majority of the votes.
Thirty five governors partook in the election and 35 votes were counted.
Mr. Jang, however, addressed the media on Saturday as the winner of the election and swore to serve and work in the interest of the forum and the nation.
He also signed a communiqué, along with the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Mimiko, as his deputy, stating his “commitment to continue being a platform for peer review, productive and collaborative engagement with all levels of governments.
The duo pledged to work with President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure peace in the country. They also said they will ensure that a befitting permanent secretariat is built outside any governor’s lodge.
Governor Gabriel of Benue; the Chairman of the South East governor’s forum, Peter Obi; and the Chairman of the South South Governors Forum, Liyel Imoke; all pledged allegiance to Governor Jang whom they said they unanimously adopt as their leader.
Governor Suswam described Governor Chibuike Amaechi victory as fraudulent.
Eighteen governors including the Governors of Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Abia, Ondo, Katsina, Kaduna, Delta, Anambra, Taraba, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa Gombe and Kwara States attended the inaugural meeting.