The faction of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, yesterday opened its secretariat in Abuja.
The 18 governors in the group at its inaugural meeting last Saturday had resolved “to secure a befitting neutral permanent secretariat.”
But only 16 governors were in attendance at the unveiling of the secretariat, located at Nana Close, Maitama, Abuja.
The attendance tended to confirm the voting pattern at last Friday’s election held at Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja where Governor Rotimi Amaechi was re-elected with 19 votes against 16 votes for Gov Jang.
The Jang faction had since claimed that no election was held.
The unveiling of the new secretariat which was scheduled to commence at 4pm could not start until 5.30. Vice President Namadi Sambo, who was officially announced to unveil the secretariat was nowhere near the venue of the event. Daily Sun findings revealed that he was on official assignment outside the country.
All the governors on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) were absent.
The Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, was equally absent but his APGA counterpart and Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, was in attendance.
Fourteen Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors were present while nine were absent.
The governors in attendance were the governors of Delta, Kogi, Ondo, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Cross River, Katsina, Abia, Taraba (acting), Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Gombe (deputy), Plateau, Anambra and Bayelsa states.
The PDP governors who shunned the event were those of Kwara, Niger, Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa, Enugu, Sokoto, Kebbi and Rivers states.
Giving reasons why his faction decided to open a parallel secretariat, Governor Jang told journalists that it was to ward off undue influence.
“We have secured this neutral secretariat, because we don’t want to work under the influence of any governor. But I am assuring you that we are working hard to reconcile with one another.”
Also speaking with newsmen, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, expressed delight over the development in the last one week.
“NGF doesn’t exist to promote somebody’s ego and personal interest. It is a non-partisan body to foster development. We are moving foward, poised for a new beginning. NGF isn’t a tool for antagonising the Presidency and it shouldn’t be for opposition politics to project alternative government.”
Further findings revealed that the governors left the venue to meet wth President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa.