by Olaniyi Afolabi
It appears there is a widening rift within the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), which was made glaring yesterday when some governors reneged on the meeting of the South south/South east governors.
The governors not in attendance were governor Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo).
Various reasons were given for their absence, but reports say the governors in that zone known to be in support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential ambition were all in attendance.
Read The Nation report below;
The schism in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) was on display yesterday, with some governors shunning the meeting of the Southsouth/Southeast governors held in Enugu.
Governors Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) did not attend the meeting held at the Enugu Governor’s Lodge. They did not send representatives.
The other governors in the zone, who are known to be pro President Goodluck-Jonathan’s 2015 ambition, attended.
They are host Governor Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Peter Obi (Anambra), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Theodore Orji (Abia), Liyel Imoke (Cross River State) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta).
Obi, chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum, said the meeting discussed ways of collaboration between the two zones.
He said: “We met today in Enugu and discussed how the two zones will work together economically in the area of infrastructure.
“Akwa Ibom and Abia states have reached an understanding to work with the private sector to reconstruct and dualise the bad Ikot-Ekpene-Aba Road in order to improve economic activities within the corridor of both states.
“We also discussed the issue of oil theft and how to curb it. We discussed the issue of ethnic harmony between the zones and how to promote it.
“Finally, we commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The various programmes shown in the mid-term report clearly shows that the transformation agenda is on course and we pledge to continue supporting him.”
Obi did not entertain reporters’ questions after the meeting. He drove off. The other governors also did not speak with reporters.
Oshiomhole’s Special Adviser (Media), Mr. Kazeem Afegbua, described the meeting as “a non-issue that does not bother the comrade governor.”
He said: “What is happening in Enugu State is a non-issue. Is that the Nigeria Governors Forum? We don’t need to bother ourselves with that. When the Governors’ Forum meeting is called by the proper person, the man will attend.”
Imo State Commissioner for Information Chinedu Offor said Okorocha did not shun the meeting, but had other engagements that clashed with it. But he did not speak on why the governor did not send his deputy. Amaechi’s reaction as promised by his aides, did not come before press time.