Monday, 18 May 2015

NIGERIAN NEWS: Governors’ forum may get new chairman today

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum will on Monday meet to formulate guidelines for the election of its chairman and deputy.
The PUNCH learnt on Sunday in Abuja that the aim of the guidelines would be the prevention of the crisis that had been rocking the forum since 2013.
Investigations showed that those who would contest the chairmanship of the forum included Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha   and the Zamfara State Governor, Abdualziz Yari.

It was learnt that after discussing the guidelines, the forum might elect a new chairman on Monday.
It was gathered that besides resolving the crisis, members would discuss how the constitution of the forum would be amended.
There are indications that some governors may boycott the meeting, as they are insisting that their outgoing colleagues should not participate in the moves to reform the forum.
An aide to a governor-elect from one of the states in the North-Central geo-political zone, who pleaded anonymity because his boss had told him not to comment on the issue, said, “We learnt that the forum would come up with guidelines for electing a new chairman.
“But some governors, who are not leaving on May 29, feel that new members should be allowed to handle that. Those who are going should not impose leaders on the governors-elect.”
It was learnt that although all the governors had been invited for the reconciliation meeting, those whose tenure would not end on May 29 would not attend the meeting.
The NGF Director-General, David Okauru, told our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday that the appointment of a new chairman would form part of the agenda of the forum.
The forum had splintered in 2013 following the claims and counter-claims by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang, to the leadership of the association after a disputed election.
During the election, Amaechi polled 19 votes while Jang had 16, leading to the setting up of separate secretariats by the two governors.
When asked if the Monday meeting might mark the beginning of the end of the crisis in the NGF, Okauru stated that the parley would deliberate on the issues affecting the association.
He, however, said he could not guarantee that the parley would end the crisis in the forum.
He said, “I have no way of knowing whether it’s the end of all crises or not. You have to keep anticipating conflicts or crises and advocating for ways to manage them. I mean that is what leadership is all about; that is what management is all about.
“You think it’s going to be crisis-free, even the first day the governors met, they had issues. That’s not what we are talking about. Left to all of them, their flanks are open and it’s good for them to work together.”
The DG assured Nigerians that the governors had been invited and they promised to attend the meeting, adding that the invitation was extended to them at the Council of State meeting last week.
“They (governors) met at the Council of State meeting and they agreed that they would be there, (at the reconciliation meeting),” he stated.
But the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, had in a statement on Saturday opposed moves to revive the NGF.
He had said, “It has come to my knowledge that my distinguished and respected senior colleagues, that is the outgoing governors, governors whose tenures will be ending on May 29, 2015, have summoned a meeting of the purported Nigerian Governors’ Forum for Monday, May 18, 2015. Among other things on the card for discussion, I understand, may be the selection of a new leadership of the forum.
“Having participated in the activities of the NGF at the period during its crisis with my respected colleagues, most of whom are now ending their respective governorship tenures; and having also known the roles played by most of the key actors of the forum in the orchestration and mismanagement of a needless crisis at such a critical phase in our nation’s political journey, I owe it as a duty to our country and its democracy to alert the nation and caution my respected colleagues, especially the incoming governors on the dangers in allowing themselves to be railroaded by the outgoing governors.”
SOURCE: punchng