The faction of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, led by the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, has dissociated itself from the retreat being organised by the Forum led by the Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi.
In a statement released in Abuja and signed by its Media Officer, Kassim Yakubu, the group stated that it had come to their knowledge that there was a program in circulation naming its members as participants in the said retreat holding in Lagos between March 13 and 14.
The Amaechi-led NGF had at last weekend extended invitations to the 16 governors in the Jang-led group to attend the two-day retreat.
The governors invited, apart from Mr. Jang are Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Sullivan Chime (Enugu) and Theodore Orji (Abia).
Others are Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Peter Obi (Anambra), Garba Umar (Acting Governor of Taraba State.
Six of them, Messrs Jang, Dickson, Dakingari, Chime, Dankwambo and Elechi were also nominated as discussants at the retreat.
The Jang-led NGF said naming its members as participant in the retreat was an attempt to give the retreat credibility following the ‘dismal showing’ of the first one held in Sokoto last year.
“They have realised that Nigerians now know that they are an opposition governors forum and the only way to get credibility now is to invoke the names of governors who clearly do not belong to their group nor share in their vision of turning the Governors Forum into an anti federal government body,” It said.
“The first retreat turned out to be an anti federal government venting exercise and did not gain any traction with the general public who want the governors to stick with their primary functions of running their states and the objectives of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum which is to work in cohesion with all other tiers of government to deliver needed development to the Nigerian people.”
The group also said it predicted that the planned retreat would turn out to be another federal government bashing get-together where the opposition script would be acted out.