By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”DESPITE last minute moves by some governors to frustrate the constitution and consequent inauguration of the Presidential Advisory Council, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan would go ahead to inaugurate the panel, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, today.
Acting President Jonathan had, Monday, announced the appointment of the 25-man committee to advise government on critical areas of the economy, with a view to according his Presidency credibility and people oriented outlook.
However, threatened by the emergence of a presidential body headed by Lt Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, many Governors were said to have expressed fear that if allowed, such a bodyÂ could dislodge or replace the Governorsâ€™ Forum, as a power force to reckon with in the political equation of Nigeria.
Despite the pressure to drop the idea, it was learnt, Jonathan remained resolute, as he insisted at a meeting with the governors that the council was important and necessary to foster speedy development of the country, particularly atÂ this time that the nation needed unity more than ever before.
He was said to have explained to the governors that the council will provide the government with alternative inputs in policy formation, promote good governance in those specified areas, as well as evaluate policy implementation and advice on areas requiring adjustments; to advise the President on how to maximize the benefits derivable from governmentâ€™s efforts.
At the end of the meeting, Chairman of the Governorsâ€™ Forum and Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Governor Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Governor Timipreye Sylva of Bayelsa fielded questions from State House Correspondents.
They said â€œWe agreed to have regular consultations during this period among the Forum. He also educated us on aÂ number of issues, for example on the Presidential Advisory Council that was set up, the reason behind it and other things.
â€œAreas of intervention by the council, in terms of advice include power, economy, security, infrastructure, social sector, the electoral process, and the fight against corruption, among others.
â€œOther terms of reference include: to evaluate policy implementation and advise on areas requiring adjustments; to advise the President on how to maximize the benefits derivable from governmentâ€™s efforts; to advise on such actions and programmes that may improve credibility and performance of the government, and advise on any other matter referred to it by the Presidentâ€, the statement said.