As Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi calls for meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on Wednesday, factional Chairman, Da Jonah Jang, has claimed credit for the release of outstanding allocation to states by the Federal Government last week.
Jang and Amaechi have been having running battles as to who is the authentic chairman of the NGF with both governors maintaining separate secretariats and divided into camps.
But Jang, in claiming victory, said he was able to use diplomatic channels to convince President Goodluck Jonathan to release the funds when his faction of the forum met with the President a few days ago. This remark has been viewed as a veiled attack at Amaechi whom the Presidency has accused in the past as being confrontational
The Sole Administrator of the Jang faction of the NGF, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said the Plateau governor would continue to use the Forum to foster improved relationship and partnership with the Federal Government.
Onaiwu said, “Before the current leadership, one of the most contentious issues between the governors and the Federal Government was the sharing quotient of revenues from the Federation Account and Excess Crude Fund.
“The issue created a big gap between these tiers of government. This was no doubt a worrisome situation that needed to be handled with tact and diplomacy in order to achieve an amicable resolution of the issues.
“Consequently, the Forum resolved and set up a committee of its members to engage the Federal Government on the FAAC issues with a mandate to represent the NGF and to critically examine every point of contestation between the governors and the Presidency without acrimony and recommend a way to approach the President and tackle the problem amicably.”
Onaiwu noted that during the meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa last Monday, Jang made a very profound and non combative presentation on behalf of the 16 governors that were in attendance.
He further said it was in appreciation of Jang’s presentation that the Federal Government set up a presidential committee, chaired by the Governor of Bauchi State, Malam Isa Yuguda, on the complaints raised by him (Jang).
According to the statement, others members of the committee are the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama; Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla and Director General, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu.