The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has reacted to comments by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that described it as being a “beggars forum and a “toothless dog”
Mr Wike had on Monday lashed out at the forum over the current travails of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who has been disqualified by the All Progressives Congress (APC) from contesting the forthcoming governorship primary of the party in Edo State.
Mr Obaseki who had been at loggerheads with the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was disqualified on Friday for allegedly having a defective certificate.
His actions have since drawn speculations of a possible defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after a courtesy visit to Mr Wike and the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to secure a ticket for his reelection as governor.
The embattled governor has, however, promised to announce his next line of action after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, in a Monday statement signed by the Commissioner for Information in Rivers State, Paulinus Nsirim, Mr Wike accused the forum of complacency and failing to intervene in the crisis.
The statement was shared via official social media accounts of the governor with video clips of Mr Wike talking tough.
He faulted the disqualification of Mr Obaseki by the APC.
Mr Wike also accused the NGF of doing nothing during his rerun election in 2019, after informing the leadership of the NGF of the withdrawal of security aides which “exposing him to danger”.
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He said, “I told them then that what they were doing was wrong. Now they have become a beggars Forum even when there are constitutional infractions.
“You can see that APC governors say that they are progressive. You can see how progressive they are when they keep quiet when a fellow sitting governor is disqualified from contesting elections,” he said.
The spokesperson of the NGF, Abdulrazaque Bakindo, in a statement on Monday, blamed the comments attributed to Mr Wike on the state commissioner for information.
He said the controversial statement could not have been made by Mr Wike.
“Governor Wike is an old member of the NGF and a strong one at that. He could not have referred to the NGF as a Beggars Forum. Blame it on the author of the release, Mr Nsirim the Information Commissioner in Rivers State who couldnt distinguish between the NGF and the Progressive Governors Forum which is the political platform of APC Govs. The NGF has six core mandate areas and politics isn’t one of them.” Mr Bakindo said.
“The NGF is happy to state that Gov Wike is one of its strong members and has delegated his Deputy Gov to the Forum and she has never missed any meeting.”
“The NGF appeals to all media advisers to seek to acquaint themselves with the different groups that their Chief Executives belong to in order to avoid making such misrepresentations that are entirely political and not governance related,” the statement read.
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