Governor Sule To Battle Kwara Governor Over NGF Chairmanship Poisition

Governor Sule To Battle Kwara Governor Over NGF Chairmanship Poisition

by Victor Ndubuisi
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For the role of chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule will compete against Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara State.

According to Newsmen, since the Forum was established in 2003, while President Olusegun Obasanjo was in office, the governors have had the option of choosing their chairman by consensus.

However, the election of the NGF chairman polarized and politicized the 36 state governors, breaking precedent just as President Goodluck Jonathan’s government was coming to an end.

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However, as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took office in 2015, all NGF chairman were chosen by consensus rather than by vote.

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ThisDay reports that the NGF met last Wednesday and decided to elect a new governor to succeed Aminu Tambawul, the departing interim chairman and governor of the state of Sokoto.

Given his experience in the business sector, his performance as governor so far, and his reputation as a jolly good guy among his friends, it was heard that several governors had decided that Governor Sule would serve as the new chairman.

That scheme was, however, foiled at the last minute when Abdulrasaq also expressed interest in running for NGF Chair, a development that is believed to have surprised other governors.

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Some governors, it was reported, claimed the Kwara governor wasn’t a familiar face at their meetings, such aspiration was divisive and uncalled for.

Additionally, it was reported that some governors had reservations about Abdulrasaq’s ability to lead the NGF because he is generally regarded as an introvert, especially given that this is not an issue involving the APC specifically but rather governors from all parties.

To avoid a repeat of what happened under the Jonathan administration, the election was reportedly halted to enable time for additional deliberations.

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It was discovered that other national topics were instead covered at the meeting and that the valedictory session was ultimately moved to a different date.

The ranking governors from the APC are those of Borno, Gombe, Nasarawa, and Kwara States. Gombe and Borno state governors were disqualified because the Vice President-elect is from the North East, hence the next forum chairman will come from the North-Central.

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The NGF as a group had decided to forgo elections for the position of chairman in favor of unanimously selecting one candidate based on qualifications and relationships with specific colleagues.

One governor told THISDAY: “We don’t want to divide ourselves with balloting on who becomes the chairman of the forum. Some of us have been asked to speak with the two governors to enable us to arrive at a consensus on the choice of a chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum.

“We are not seeking input from any of the political parties, it is our affairs to smoothen governance. Though we are elected from different political parties, we don’t want to be divided on this or tagged politically biased”.

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“We want a governor that will command the respect of all of us. At the end of the day, we will achieve a consensus on this.”

Another governor also told THISDAY that since the meeting was for governors it would be fair to allow the 13 governors-elect to be part of the decision of who will become their chairman.

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In the NGF as presently constituted, 17 of the governors who have completed their constitutional eight years in office would be exiting the forum by May 29 this year.

Likewise in the PDP, the oldest governor in the party is Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who is spending his seventh year as governor and will lead the PDP governors after May 29.

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Apart from leading the PDP Governors Forum, Obaseki with his private sector background may as well become the vice chairman of the NGF.

 

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