By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – A new chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has emerged in the person of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, South-South Nigeria.
Briefing journalists at the end the forum’s valedictory meeting in honour of the out-going governors, the outgoing chairman of the forum and the governor of Kwara state, north central Nigeria, Dr Bukola Saraki said Governor Amaechi was chosen after an extensive deliberation among members and he will serve for two years.
The meeting was attended by serving eighteen governors with apologies from three while the motion to adopt Governor Amaechi as the new Chairman was moved by the South South Governors and supported by Governor Issa Yuguda and Danjuma Goje of Bauchi and of Gombe States in the northern part of the country respectively.
At the end of the meeting, the former Chairman of the NGF, Dr Bukola Saraki, who read the communique on behalf of his colleagues, thanked them for the opportunity given him to serve.
He disclosed that the forum received and adopted the Governor Fashola’s committee report on revenue allocation formula with some amendments.
The Forum agreed to designate the new Chairman and Vice Chairman to negotiate with President Goodluck Jonathan, the leadership of the National Assembly on Revenue Allocation Formula and the Revenue Allocation and Fiscal Commission as well as the mass media.
Members of the Fashola Committee and the Secretariat of the NGF were enjoined to lead the media campaign to drive home the forums demand for more revenue allocation to states.
The NGF commended members for the launch of the Peer Review Mechanism with Anambra state in the south east and Edo State in the Niger Delta region of the country to pioneer the review process, as well as the successful induction programme for the newly elected and re-elected governors.
Fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the meeting, the out-going Chairmanof the Forum, Dr Bukola Saraki urged the new Chairman not to be too partisan, but to carry all along, and to always provide leadership by example.
He also expressed confidence that Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the new Chairman was capable of taking the forum to the next level.The elated new Chairman of the NGF, Governor Amaechi promised to consolidate on the achievements of his predecessor, Dr Saraki with a view to making the forum to wax stronger.
The Rivers State governor who was re-elected during the 2011 governorship election has become the fifth chairperson of the twelve year -old NGF, others being former governors Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom), Lucky Igbinedion (Edo) and Bukola Saraki (Kwara) states.
Apart from Mr Amaechi, others who indicated interest in succeeding Mr Saraki were Peter Obi of Anambra, Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Sule Lamido of Jigawa state.