Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi have been absent from the National Council of State meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting has started in Aso Rock presidential villa in Abuja at around 10.45 a.m. It was previously held in March.
The governors of Jigawa and Ekiti States read the opening prayer.
At the previous meeting on March 12, a former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyesegha was granted state pardon.
The Council of State meeting is supposed to be attended by all former presidents and heads of states, past chief justices of the Federation, the 36 states incumbent governors as well as the leaders of the National Assembly.
The participating politicians will discuss the forthcoming national conference, 2015 general elections, and Nigeria’s centenary celebrations.
According to P.M. News, Obasanjo may have failed to come to the meeting due to his strained relationship with Jonathan following their exchange of letters in December.
General Buhari, in turn, does not attend such meeting on principle. He once said in an interview that he took party only in those gatherings that have on the agenda the issues of his interest.
It is also not clear why Governor Amaechi is also absent at the meeting. Amaechi-led Chairman of Nigeria Governors (NGF) had complained about the refusal of the Presidency to convey the meeting which has Vice President Namadi Sambo as a vice chairman.
Those present at the meeting are General Yakubu Gowon (retd), General Ibrahim Babangida (retd), Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Earnest Shonekan, and General Abdusalami Abubakar.
Governors in attendance include Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Ibikunle Amosun (Abia), Rauf Aregbesola (Ogun), Godswill Akpabio (Osun), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Raji Fashola (Lagos). Also present are the Speaker of House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, and Senate President David Mark.
A mild drama
The Adamawa state governor was bantering at some of his colleagues, saying “I am telling, don’t poison me here. I am not comfortable with you here. I anything happens to me here, walahi, my people will take you to court.”
The meeting was still ongoing at the moment of reporting. More to follow.