A new political platform emerged in the country yesterday as former state governors put together a body called Former Governors Forum (FGF). The ex- state governors including those of the Second Republic are part of the new group. Among them is the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and his ANPP counterpart, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Other former governors who also graced the occasion that held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja include the national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande. Tukur was the governor of old Gongola State in the Second Republic while Chief Akande governed Osun State . Onu was the governor of Abia State during the short- lived Third Republic.
Addressing the enlarged caucus, chairman of the forum, Senator Jim Nwobodo said the forum was formed to enable them continue to render services for the unity and development of the country. “We felt that it would be better to organize an all-embracing elected former governors from 1979 when presidential and governorship elections were held at both federal and state levels. “Every former governor who was approached showed interest and applauded the idea”, the chairman said.
He was optimistic that the forum would have the largest number of eminent Nigerians if well harnessed adding that it would be of tremendous advantage to the country in all aspects of governance. Nwobodo further said: “As patriotic and very responsible citizens of this country who have been at the helms of affairs of all federating units of this country, we owe it a duty to our people to contribute our quota by way of advice for the good governance, development and well-being of our country. There is no other avenue more suited than coming together, reminiscing about the past and contributing to the present circumstances.”
“This Forum will give us the much needed opportunity to come together to have bi-partisan approaches to some serious and fundamental issues and challenges facing our country and proffer solutions irrespective of political divides and ideological leaning.”
“Your Excellencies and colleagues, as the forces of history play itself out, putting stress and strains on our dear nation, we owe it a duty to do whatever we can to promote unity among our people and we can only do it when Nigerians know that this rainbow coalition of this great nation acts with nationalistic zeal.”
Other ex-governors that attended the meeting include Lawan Kaita, Balarabe Musa Saidu Barde, Prince Abubakar Audu, Abdullahi Adamu Bonnie Haruna, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Ahmed Makarfi, Olusegun Agagu, and Mr. Wilberforce Juta.The forum also approved the setting up of a committee for its formal inauguration.