President Goodluck Jonathan plans to meet with the 36 governors to resolve the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) crisis, it was gathered yesterday.
This is one of the agreements the President reached with the G5 Northern governors he met last weekend, according to sources.
The governors who have met with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and former military leaders Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, in their self appointed push to save democracy, also met yesterday in Sokoto with Second Republic President Shehu Shagari.
The governors at the meeting with Shagari at his Sama Road home in Sokoto included host Aliyu Wamakko, Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa).
Details of their discussion were not made public, but Nyako told reporters at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, that what took them to other eminent Nigerians they visited “brought us to Sokoto to finetune ways and solutions to the country’s multiple problems”.
He added: “You know Nigeria’s fundamental problem lies on the security challenge which we are working round the clock to tackle so that it can be overcomed.”
It was gathered that the governors plan to meet former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon; ex-Vice-President Alex Ekwueme; a former Governor of the defunct Western Region, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo; and a cleric, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi.
It was learnt that although the five governors asked the President to recognise Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the chairman of the NGF, he said he would rather summon a meeting of all governors to iron things out.
A source said: “The President admitted that the NGF crisis and the situation in Rivers State were overheating the polity. He said: ‘Really, I need your assistance’.
“He said he would prefer to meet with all the governors to resolve the NGF crisis as a body in a family manner and move forward.”
But the President reportedly protested against alleged “unwarranted attacks” by Amaechi and some of the governors.
“The governors were said to have denied attacking the President or his office in any manner. But they alleged that they could spot Jonathan’s hands in the crises rocking Adamawa and Rivers states.
On other demands of the five governors, the source said: “Jonathan noted the issues raised and he promised to get back to the five governors and Amaechi.
“So, we are expecting another round of meeting with the President on other issues like Adamawa and Rivers crises; the leadership challenge in PDP and lack of internal democracy; hijack of PDP structure at the state level by Abuja politicians; fears over 2015; clampdown on some governors to force them to do the bidding of the President; intolerance of the opposition and the need for reconciliation.
“We do not know when we will meet with the President but it might be very soon.”
The five Northern governors yesterday took their “save democracy” campaign to Alhaji Shagari in Sokoto.
After the shuttle to Sokoto, the governors plan to visit Gen. Gowon; ex-Vice-President Alex Ekwueme; Gen. Adebayo; and cleric Rev. Gbonigi.
Another source said: “The governors believe that these statesmen need to intervene by rallying round the President to address the political problems distracting his administration.
“So, they have met Shagari but the dates slated for audience with Gowon, Ekwueme, Adebayo and Gbonigi have not been determined.
“I think at the end of the day, the peace mission of the governors will yield positive results.”
A governor, who spoke in confidence, said: “These continuous shuttles are meant to impress on the statesmen and the President the need for quick win solutions to the crises at hand.”
Source: The Nation