Northern Governors’ Forum Meeting Witnesses Poor Attendance As Yuguda, Shema, Others Shun Aliyu

Northern GovernorsThe Northern Governors Forum meeting which held in Kaduna Thursday, saw only 5 of the 19 governors in the region in attendance.

The other governors are either being represented by their deputies or their Secretaries to the State Governments (SSGs).

Malam Isa Yuguda of Bauchi had earlier vowed not to attend any of the meetings following the outcome of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) elections where the consensus candidate presented by the northern governors – Da Jonah Jang of Plateau State, was defeated by his Rivers State counterpart, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

As at the time of this report the five governors in attendance include the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu as well as governors of Jigawa (Sule Lamido), Kaduna (Mukhtar Yero), Nasarawa (Tanko Al-makura) and Gombe (Ibrahim Dankwanbo).

Those represented by their deputies are Kwara, Kano, Kogi, Borno, Zamfara, Sokoto and  Kebbi States while Plateau and Benue sent their SSGs.

Aliyu noted that the governors of Adamawa and Taraba States sent apologies while those completely absent without notice or representatives are Katsina, Yobe and Bauchi States.

The Chairman admitted that there were problems among the governors but expressed hope that it will be resolved.

“I know there was election (NGF) that someone won. We are having problems and we will solve it,” Aliyu said while fielding questions from newsmen.

The traditional press briefing prior to the meeting proper was unusually shelved as governor Aliyu simply asked journalists to excuse them.

The meeting started around 11:00 a.m. and ended around 1:30 p.m.

A communiqué signed by the chairman at the end of the meeting expressed concern over the economic hardships in the country, particularly in the north and resolved to have an economic plan that would emanate from the states, zones and the region to form a basis for economic development.

The Forum also asked northern states to study the recommendations in the Draft White Paper of the Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security and promptly implement them as appropriate in the interest of peaceful co-existence and development of the country.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the governors noted that member states had already articulated and forwarded their various positions on the bill to the National Assembly.

The Forum therefore resolved to continue to engage members of the National Assembly for the speedy passage of the bill in the overall interest of all.