Obasanjo and Buhari were absent from the meeting of Council of State on Tuesday

Obasanjo and Buhari were absent from the meeting of Council of State on Tuesday

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of States General Muhammadu Buhari, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi were absent from the National Council of State (NCS) meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The meeting started in Aso Rock presidential villa in Abuja at around 10.45 a.m.

The governors of Jigawa and Ekiti States read the opening prayer.

At the previous meeting on March 12 a former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyesegha was granted state pardon.

The Council of State meeting is supposed to be attended by all former presidents and heads of states, past chief justices of the Federation, the 36 states incumbent governors as well as the leaders of the National Assembly.

It was gathered that the participating politicians discussed the forthcoming national conference, 2015 general elections, and Nigeria’s centenary celebrations being organised by the Federal Government.

According to P.M. News, Obasanjo may have failed to come to the NCS meeting due to his strained relationship with Jonathan following their exchange of letters in December.

General Buhari, in turn, does not attend such meeting on principle. He once said in an interview that he took party only in those gatherings that have on the agenda the issues of his interest.

It is also not clear why Governor Amaechi was absent from the meeting. Amaechi-led Chairman of Nigeria Governors (NGF) had complained about the refusal of the Presidency to convey the meeting which has Vice President Namadi Sambo as a vice chairman.

Those present at the meeting were General Yakubu Gowon (retd), General Ibrahim Babangida (retd), Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Earnest Shonekan, and General Abdusalami Abubakar.

Governors in attendance included Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Ibikunle Amosun (Abia), Rauf Aregbesola (Ogun), Godswill Akpabio (Osun), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Raji Fashola (Lagos). Also present were the Speaker of House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal, and Senate President David Mark.

A mild drama 

Just before the meeting kicked off, Governor Nyako who was sitting beside the Abia Governor requested for a change of seat after some of the PDP governors started taunting him to return to the ruling party.

The Adamawa state governor was bantering at some of his colleagues, saying "I am telling, don't poison me here. I am not comfortable with you here. I anything happens to me here, walahi, my people will take you to court."


NCS has gathered, but NEC still can't

The NCS and the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by the VP are the two bodies being used by the presidency to meet with the governors.

The NCS has the constitutional duty of advising the president on the exercise of his powers with respect to the maintenance of public order, national census, prerogative of mercy, award of national honours, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Judicial Council, and the National Population Commission.

According to media reports, some state governors believed that Jonathan had relegated them to the background by not convening the Council meeting.

However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Reuben Abati said the President had not breached the Constitution because it does not stipulate a fixed time or frequency for the NCS to meet.

The NEC has the constitutional role of advising the president on the nation’s economic affairs.

But since the polarisation of NGF and the crisis among governors elected on the platform of the PDP, Sambo had for five months been unable to convene a NEC meeting . 

Source: Legit.ng

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