Still struggling to come to terms with the reality of the defeat of their candidate by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, aggrieved governors Saturday distanced themselves from his victory, claiming that he ceased to be their leader on Friday when his tenure ended.
The splinter NGF, led by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, presented Governor Jonah Jang as the new Chairman of the NGF.
They also announced plans to set up a different secretariat for their meetings so as to disconnect from the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, which had been serving as their meeting point in the past two years.
Eighteen governors, who are sympathetic to President Jonathan and his anointed candidate, Jang, converged on the Benue State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro and tried to discredit the electoral process that threw up Amaechi.
The governors who are opposed to Amaechi’s victory are: Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Jonah Jang of Plateau, Idris Wada of Kogi, Gabriel Suswam of Benue, Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, Theodore Orji of Abia, Peter Obi of Anambra and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi.
others are: Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna, Garba Umar of Taraba, Ahmed Abdulfatah of Kwara, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Gombe Deputy Governor, Thaanod Rubainu.
The governors, who met behind closed doors for about two hours, later issued a communique, saying that they stood by the endorsement of 19 governors, who had earlier pledged their support for the candidature of the consensus candidate to be chosen by them and not Amaechi.
Governor Mimiko, who described himself as the Vice Chairman of the Jang-led NGF, read the six-paragraph communique issued and jointly endorsed by the faction.
“The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, under the new leadership of Governor Jonah Jang, as Chairman and Governor Olusegun Mimiko as the Vice Chairman, at the inaugural meeting held today, Saturday, May 25, 2013, resolved as follows:
“The new chairman of the NGF thanks Northern Governors’ Forum, the PDP Governors’ Forum and all the governors for the support and confidence reposed in him and vowed to work for the interest of the forum and country.
“The chairman of the NGF Governor Jonah Jang vows to unite members of the forum, work for the interest of the forum and the country.
“The forum re-states its commitment to continue being a platform for peer review, productive and collaborative engagement with all levels of government.
“The forum also resolves to continue to encourage and collaborate with Mr. President to restore peace and security in the country.” [Vanguard]