Akpabio, Rivers PDP Battle Over Govs’ Forum

Akpabio, Rivers PDP Battle Over Govs’ Forum

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, on Friday said that his Rivers State counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi, tried to ‘reinstall’ himself as the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

However, the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party countered his assertion, saying that only the 36 governors could decide whether Amaechi was okay to go for a second term.

Akpabio, who spoke during an interview on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise, said Amaechi’s bid was stoutly resisted by some governors, whose identities he did not disclose.

He stated that Amaechi’s bid was in violation of an agreement drawn up by governors when Vice-President Namadi Sambo was the governor of Kaduna State.

He said, “I must advise that Nigerians must practise responsible journalism. Sometimes you see headlines such as ‘Jonathan’s group..’ or ‘Jonathan fails to remove Amaechi.’ Nothing like that ever happened.

“The only thing that happened within the (Nigerian) Governors’ Forum was that our chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, attempted to go for a second term and reinstall himself and we said no.

“The agreement we had was that each chairman should go for only one tenure. A constitution was we drafted. The chairman of the constitution drafting committee was (then governor) Namadi Sambo. We entrenched the provision that there it should only be one tenure each so that there would not be acrimony within the rank and file of the forum.

“We agreed that the Southern and Northern parts of the country should do two years each two. We did that because we had a situation where there was a chairman of the governors’ forum who had a presidential aspiration and we were no longer having meetings. It was starting to look like the forum was trying to wrest power from the people at the Villa. That was not the truth.”

On whether the influence of the forum had turned it into a pressure group, Akpabio explained that the unity it had brought about in the country was more important.

“I don’t know about power but we have been able to bring together APGA, ACN and others. I don’t think it is has become a pressure group.I think it is because of the events in the country. For instance, when our late President (Umaru Yar’Adua) was sick, there was the need for the governors to come together and provide a little bit of leadership and that was what we did. I think that is what we are elected to do,” he added.

Akpabio also said he would run for the Senate in 2015, based on “pressures by my people who are yearning for quality representation based on service. I was compelled to reconsider my decision and yield to the people desire by opting to run for the Senate.”

But Rivers State PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ukwuoma-Nwogba, said since Akpabio was only one governor among other state governors, his opinion could not be binding on the tenure of the forum’s chairman.

Ukwuoma-Nwogba explained that the NGF had agreed that its constitution be amended for Amaechi to go for a second term and added that any opposition to such a decision was unnecessary.

“The truth is that Akpabio as governor is not the NGF and his position on the tenure of the NGF chairman cannot be binding on other governors.

“If the governors have agreed to amend their constitution for Amaechi to go for a second term as NGF chairman, there is little or nothing he (Akpabio) can do about it,” the state PDP spokesman emphasised.


Source: Legit.ng

Online view pixel