Godswill Akpabio hinted of the breakaway faction’s desire to re-unite with the main group.
At least 19 of Nigeria’s 36 state governors shunned a meeting called by Jonah Jang, the leader of a faction of the Nigeria Governors Forum. The absentees apparently obeyed a directive of the Forum’s Chairman, Chibuike Amaechi, that governors boycott the meeting called by Mr. Jang, the Plateau State Governor and ally of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Jang who lost to Mr. Amaechi in the forum’s chairmanship election on May 24 convened a meeting of his group, which held at its secretariat in Maitama District of Abuja on Sunday night.
Governors in attendance were Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Theodore Orji (Abia), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), and Mr. Jang.
The Acting Governor of Taraba, Garba Umar, was also in attendance while the deputy governors of Cross River, Anambra, Gombe, Kaduna, and Kogi States represented their governors.
The governors belong to Mr. Jang’s faction of NGF which is allegedly backed by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Presidency.
Those conspicuously absent despite being served with the letter of invitation were Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos).
Others were Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregebsola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Rochas okorocha (Imo), Kashim Shetima (Borno) and Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi).
In a communiqué read by the Ondo governor and deputy chairman of the faction, Mr. Mimiko, after the meeting, the governors reviewed the ongoing amendment to the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly after which they set up a five-member committee to streamline their contribution to the exercise.
Members of the committee chaired by the Katsina State Governor are the Governors of Abia, Bayelsa, Ondo and Delta.
Mr. Mimiko also said that the Benue State Governor, Mr. Suswam, who chairs the Presidential Committee on the ASUU Strike, briefed the meeting on the move to resolve the crisis.
However, indications that the two factions of the NGF may re-unite emerged when Mr. Akpabio said at the end of the meeting, that the reconciliation was long overdue.
The governor who chairs the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governors Forum, noted that the governors should be seen to be working in unity.
“We are going to reconcile. We need to work together as a team. We, all the governors, are going to reconcile and come together under one umbrella,” he said.
“We believe that all governors should come together so that we can positively impact on Nigerians.”
The governor, however, was silent when he was asked if Mr. Jang would step down for Mr. Amaechi who won the May 24 election by 19 votes to 16.
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