By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- FOR the third time in the series, governors loyal to Chibuike Amaechi led Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF yesterday shunned the meeting summoned by Jonah Jang of Plateau State faction.
Yesterday’s meeting which took place at the new secretariat of Jang led NGF at 2 Nana Close, off Erie Crescent, Nile Street, Maitama, Abuja, followed the one it held on June 17 which attracted 18 state governors.
Sunday meeting was attended by ten governors and five Deputies, totally fifteen. In attendance were governors Martin Elechi of Ebonyi; Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta; Gabriel Suswam of Benue; Godswill Akpabio of AkwaIbom; Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo; Ibrahim Shema of Katsina; Jonah Jang of Plateau; Theordore Orji of Abia; Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Acting governor of Taraba, Garba Umar.
The deputy governors present were Yomi Awoniyi of kogi; Nuhu Bajoga Audu of Kaduna; Efiok Cobham of Cross River; Anambra state deputy and that of Gombe. Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi who belong to this faction were absent.
While the meeting was still going on, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State told Journalists that the meeting was called to find a way of reconciling Amaechi led NGF and that of Jang to enable them continue to work in the interest of Nigerians.
He said, “We believe in bringing all the governors back to the fold so that we will continue to impact positively on Nigerians.”
Akpabio also explained that the meeting would discuss peer review and the forthcoming National Convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the Anambra State election.
Also speaking while the meeting was still in progress, Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema, revealed that the meeting would also deliberate on the ongoing constitutional review, just as Gabriel Suswam of Benue said the issue of strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities was also slated for discussion.
Governor Uduaghan said the meeting was also about oil theft in the Niger Delta which he said that the government has concluded arrangements to commence the prosecution of oil thieves, adding that one major issue addressed was the shut down of pipelines by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Governor Jonah Jang had invited the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi for the meeting, but he stayed away.
Also said to have been invited to the meeting were governors Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State; Sule Lamido of Jigawa; Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Aliyu Babangida of Niger State; Musa Kwankwaso of Kano; Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state; Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa; Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara; Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo; Rauf Aregbesola of Osun; Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; Rochas Okorocha of Imo, among others, but they shunned the meeting.
It will be recalled that the NGF has been polarised since May during the last Chairmanship election where governor Amaechi scored 19 votes to defeat Jang of Plateau State who polled 16 votes.