Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari are top contenders for the chairmanship of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, whose election is expected to hold Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The forum, hitherto encompassing governors from all political parties and which is expected to foster unity amongst the state governors, became polarised in 2013 following the claims and counter-claims by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang, to the leadership of the association after a disputed election.
In the election, Amaechi got 19 votes against Jang’s 16 votes. However, Jang was declared winner because he enjoyed the support of the Presidency and a few governors who were also dancing to the tune of Aso Rock.
This led to the defection of Amaechi and four other governors to the APC.
Now that a fresh election is taking place, there are indications that some governors under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may boycott it, as they are insisting that their outgoing colleagues should not participate in efforts to revamp the forum.
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson of PDP, in a paid advertorial in national newspapers on Sunday, insisted that only incoming governors should fully participate in the process of electing a new chairman of the forum in order to avert another crisis within the forum.
According to Dickson, “it has come to my knowledge that my distinguished and respected senior colleagues, the outgoing governors, whose tenures will be ending May 29, 2015, have summoned a meeting of the purported Nigeria Governors’ Forum for Monday, May 18, 2015. Among other things on the card for discussion, I understand, may be the selection of a new leadership of the forum.
“Having participated in the activities of the NGF at the period during its crisis with my respected colleagues, most of whom are now ending their respective governorship tenures, and having also known the roles played by most of the key actors of the forum in the orchestration and mismanagement of a needless crisis at such a critical phase in our nation’s political journey, I owe it as a duty to our country and its fledgling democracy to alert the nation and caution my respected colleagues, especially the in-coming governors of the dangers in allowing themselves to be railroaded by the outgoing governors, most of whom created the NGF crisis, to foist on our country and political system another NGF contraption (in their own image and likeness) that will in due course threaten the stability of our democracy and be a distraction to citizens and the leadership of our country, as the NGF tussle has done between 2013 to date.”
He further stated: “Our nation and democracy cannot afford another NGF whose leaders will develop ambitions and use same to undermine the federal government or be a threat to the stability and peace of our country and their political parties. I have shared these views with Governors Amaechi, Jang, Akpabio and others. I have also shared it with some of the incoming governors. Let all the issues of the NGF be handled by the governors who will be left after May 29. The secretariat should be told to receive the handing over notes from the two leaders and be prepared to give account when the need arises.”