Nigerian Governors shorten meeting, move to Villa to dine with Jonathan

Governor Rotimi Amaechi

The governors loyal to Mr. Amaechi met briefly.

The meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum scheduled to hold at the Rivers State governor’s lodge was rescheduled on Wednesday evening as attendees agreed to attend a dinner with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Sources at the meeting say 15 governors were initially present for the meeting called by Rotimi Amaechi, the Chairman of the Forum. The attendees are believed to be governors loyal to Mr. Amaechi who defeated Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau by 19 votes to 16 last month to re-emerge as the forum’s chairman. Mr. Jang, alongside 15 other governors have since formed a parallel forum.

The attendees include the major supporters of Mr. Amaechi including governors of Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Imo, Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa, Zamfara, Osun, Edo, and Niger.

Though some members of the forum questioned the timing of the presidential dinner, saying it was a ploy by the presidency, who is believed to be against Mr. Amaechi, to undermine the meeting, all agreed there was need to honour the presidency by attending the dinner, a source said.

Just as the governors were getting ready to leave for the dinner, after their brief meeting, the governors of Oyo and Kwara arrived for the meeting and joined their colleagues to the villa.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the governors of Yobe (still expected to join later) and Kebbi (out of the country) were not at the meeting but had pledged their support to the Amaechi camp.

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