Update: 14 Governors, two deputies present as Jang commissions factional Nigeria Governors Forum Secretariat

Jonah Jang, Plateau state governor

Mr. Jang said he is working to resolve the crisis in the NGF.

Contrary to expectations, Vice President Namadi Sambo did not attend the commissioning of the secretariat of the Jonah Jang led faction of the Nigeria Governors Forum.

Mr. Sambo was expected to attend and unveil the new secretariat. But in what could be said to be an attempt to appear non-partisan in the feud between the Jonah Jang led faction and faction led by the winner of the chairmanship election of the NGF, Rotimi Amaechi, Mr. Sambo stayed away from the event even as organisers gave no reason for his absence.

Efforts to get an official reason for the vice president’s absence were unsuccessful as his spokesman, Umar Sani’s telephone was switched off.

Instead, Mr. Jang, flanked by thirteen of his governor colleagues, and two deputy governors, declared the secretariat open.

Shortly before he cut the tape to open the secretariat, Mr. Jang stated that “From now on this is the official secretariat of the Nigeria Governors Forum, and whoever needs any information or dealings to do with the NGF, should come here”.

The two-storey butter coloured building, located at No 2, Nana Street Maitama, Abuja, is also adorned with the pictures of all the political parties that have elected governors in Nigeria, The parties include the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Congress of Progressive Change, CPC; and Labour Party, LP.

None of the governors of the ACN, ANPP, or CPC attended the event.

After the unveiling, all the attendees went round to inspect the facilities inside the building.

Governors at the commissioning were those of Delta; Ebonyi; Taraba; Kaduna; Kogi; Abia; Katsina; Ondo; Plateau; Bauchi; Bayelsa ,Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Anambra; while Benue and Gombe were represented by their deputies.

Mr. Jang, addressing journalists, said his faction is working to resolve the crisis with the other faction.

The Nigeria Governors Forum was factionalised last week when 18 governors refused to accept the re-election of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state held on Friday May 24, 2013.

Mr. Amaechi, the Rivers State Governor, had defeated Mr. Jang by 19 votes to 16 to emerge as chairman. His election is believed to have been opposed by the presidency and the PDP leadership, a claim both have denied.

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