by Akan Ido
The nineteen member strong Rotimi Amaechi-faction of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum were in Sokoto yesterday for their second retreat.
Six of the members were absent while thirteen of the governors were either present or represented by their state deputy governors.
Rivers governor, Amaechi led others at the meeting including the host governor, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko and the governors of Nasarawa, Lagos, Osun, Ekiti, Adamawa, Zamfara and Rivers States, while governors of Niger, Jigawa, Kano, Oyo and Kwara were represented by their deputies.
The Sunday Sun reports:
Although it was not immediately clear why the governors of Edo, Imo, Ogun, Borno, Yobe and Kebbi states neither sent in their representatives nor attend in person, Sunday Sun gathered that while Ogun State governor and his deputy had a major function to attend back home, Kebbi governor may have stayed away because of the recent onslaught on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. On his part, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, was said to have travelled to India on the invitation of the Indian government to attend this year’s Indian International Trade Fair.
Sunday Sun further gathered that Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha may have stayed back because of the crucial Anambra election, where he is the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, campaign machinery.
The retreat, however, received a boost with the presence of the former chairman of the Forum and former Kwara State governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, National Chairman of the new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal.
While the first retreat, supported by the U.S. National Governors Association, NGA, was held in 2011, in Abuja, for elected and re-elected governors, for the purpose of strengthening the institution of governance at the state level and to prepare the governors for better governance, it was however not clear as at press time if the Sokoto retreat was being supported by any foreign collaborator.
The Sokoto retreat, where Professor Wole Soyinka is expected to deliver a speech on “Good Governance and the Imperative for Managing and Leaving a Sustainable Legacy,” is expected to discuss the dwindling revenue allocations to the states, and how to further strengthen good governance at the state level.