As Nigerian Governors Forum prepares to hold its election next month to elect its chairman, President Goodluck Jonathan has pleaded with 15 governors across the parties to support the governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema as replacement for the incumbent, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.
The governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will meet tomorrow to among others get a consensus candidate for the Chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF
President Jonathan as gathered was said to have asked the governors to go for a consensus candidate when Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State said at the meeting that the North may not accept Shema as NGF Chairman.
It was also gathered that the governors had asked the President to support the body with fund to enable it run effectively, even as governors Ramallan Yero of Kaduna,; Peter Obi of Anambra; Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe were among the 15 governors who attended the Sunday meeting with the President.
Tomorrow’s meeting of the PDP governors which will hold in the afternoon will come up before that of the NGF that will take place at 8pm same day at the Rivers State governor’s Lodge.
The PDP governors, Vanguard gathered will also deliberate on the letter the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur was said to have written to the Sokoto State governor, Aliyu where he was said to have queried the governor over his utterances that Godswill Akpabio was not recognised as Chairman of PDP Governors’ forum.
The governors are disturbed over the letter to Wamakko against the backdrop that the governors were being humiliated as it happened to Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State.
It was gathered that the Sokoto State governor who was not happy with the query, refused to pick several calls made by Tukur and allow for peace. The governor asked the Sokoto PDP Secretary, Aminu Bello to refute the statement the governor was said to have made.
The PDP Governors Forum, at the meeting will review activities in the party after the last meeting even as the Forum would take the reports of different committees it set up on the South-West and Adamawa, among others.
Governor Akpabio had sent notice of meeting to the PDP Governors and he is said to have started making personal contacts with the governors to ensure that they have a good attendance.
President Jonathan as gathered will meet with PDP governors on Thursday, a day after the meeting of the governors.
Anenih, Tukur in closed meeting
Meanwhile, the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur and the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih held a closed door meeting. The meeting which took place at the Tukur’s residence as gathered was part of moves to harmonise ideas on the on-going reconciliation moves within the party.
It was gathered Tukur and Anenih used the meeting to dispel insinuations and media reports that they have both been working at cross purposes.
In a related development Akpabio and his Bauchi State counterpart, Alhaji Isa Yuguda as part of moves to drum support for Tukur, had a meeting with Tukur Bamanga Tukur in Abuja to chart new strategies aimed at re-launching the party to enable it surmount its challenges.
The meeting between Tukur and the PDP governors which held at the residence of the National Chairman recently, drew fresh agenda on how to put the ruling party in a good stead for fulfilling its dream of winning more states by 2015.
However, Akpabio in company of the governor of Bauchi state and the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh assured the National Chairman of cooperation and support by the PDP Governors who he said have been most committed to the interest of the party in their respective states.
While dismissing reports on alleged gang up by the state governors against Tukur, the Akwa Ibom state governor promised to deploy new initiatives towards re-invigorating the PDP Governors Forum for the purpose of strengthening the unbeaten record of the ruling party during the next round of elections in Nigeria.
The PDP National Chairman had thanked the visiting governors, in particular, the Governors’ Forum for the support they have been throwing behind the party as he vowed never to relent in the pursuit of the party’s 12-point Agenda, centering on reconciliation, dialogue among members as well as rebuilding of the PDP.
However, speaking to newsmen on his earlier charge to the PDP members to work towards delivering more states to the party by 2015, the National Chairman insisted that the ruling party would improve on its current rating by winning more states in the next elections, adding, “Already, we are a winning party with 23 out of 36 states of the federation. As a party with a drive for success, we cannot sit down and say we are okay with 23 states.
‘’If we need to do well, we have to set higher tasks for ourselves and that is what we all must work on. Our members should go out and start preparing to win more states.
“The difference between PDP and other parties is that we are always hard working. We were the only parties that toured the nooks and crannies of Nigeria to sell our party manifesto before the 2011 elections. Then we won in 23 states. As a leader, I want an improvement, and I have told our members to start working hard for improvement. That is how to stay on top.
‘’For me, if we are to win more states and outshine the opposition, we must work hard. We as party leader had started demonstrating seriousness and hard work. We just finished touring the 6 geo political zones. In due course, we will begin state by state tour to sell our party and reconcile our members. Hard work and focus begin from such efforts.
“If you look around, all the good awards from different organisations are being carted away by PDP governors. The Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Akpabio just bagged the Leadership Man of The Year Award. It was not the PDP that organised it, it was a national newspaper. What that tells you is that we have products and the materials required to make us fulfil our dreams”.