El-Rufai, Fayemi jostle to succeed NGF chairman Yari

El-Rufai, Fayemi jostle to succeed NGF chairman Yari

- Many governors have shown interest in leading the Nigeria Governors Forum

- Governors Nasir El-Rufai and Kayode Fayemi are among those contesting for the forum's leadership position

- A member of the forum from the northeast lauded the outgoing chairman, Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari, saying he is a goal-getter

There are indications that governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) are contesting for the position of Nigeria Governors Forum chairman.

Legit.ng gathered that the NGF started about 20 years when the nation returned to democracy. The past chairmen are Abdullahi Adamu, Victor Attah, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Rotimi Amaechi and Abdulaziz Yari.

The Nation reports that its sources claimed that the NGF election will hold on May 22 in Abuja ahead of the last National Economic Council meeting for the outgoing governors on May 23.

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A governor from north central said: “Many governors are interested in leading the NGF, but the intrigues have left us with two choices El-Rufai and Fayemi.

“While some do not want El-Rufai for having his fingers in too many pies, others feel his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari may add value. Most governors in the opposition parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are opposed to him.

“But Fayemi is rated as a liberal leader who has built bridges across all parties. He is also regarded as a governor who has the ears of Buhari and members of his ‘kitchen cabinet’.

“I think most of us prefer Fayemi to El-Rufai whose leadership style can be likened to that of an headmaster. He is also an academic with an international profile. But in politics, anything can change overnight. When we meet on May 22, we will look at all options and choose the best out of the two governors.”

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A governor from the northeast said: “We have a challenge at hand because the outgoing NGF chairman is leaving a big vacuum.

“The truth is that we have never had a successful NGF chairman like Abdulaziz Yari, who is a goal getter. He bailed us out many times by sourcing for funds from the President.

“Governors across all parties were at home with Yari because he succeeded in persuading President Muhammadu Buhari in approving the release of almost N2 trillion to states, including N713.7 0billion special intervention funds to states, London-Paris Club refund and other special funds.

“The Zamfara state governor might have security and political problems at home and he is probably in a tinder box in his state but he has offered leadership, which is acceptable to all governors across the parties in the country.

“I think he wields much influence in the presidency and he could assist a state at the press of a button. Most of us were surprised that he is having issues in his state.”

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum secretariat said it concluded arrangements for an induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors.

In a statement issued by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, head, media and public affairs, NGF said the induction programme would hold between April 28 and May 2.

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