The Deputy Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Dr. Gabriel Suswam has said that the Forum has endorsed the emergence of Chief Jonah Jang as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum. He said in an earlier meeting of the Forum presided over by Dr. Babangida Aliyu, they had unanimously adopted Governor Jang as the consensus Chairman and they stood by that decision.
Confirming the position, the Governors of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema also said in the overall interest of the nation, he and his Bauchi State counterpart, Mallam Isa Yuguda had to step down their ambition to lead the Forum when the Northern Governors endorsed Jang as the consensus candidate.
The newly elected Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and the Governor of Plateau State, Chief Jonah D. Jang thanked Nigerian Governors for the confidence reposed in him to serve them as the Chairman of NGF and pledged to work for the interest of the Forum and country.
Governor Jang made these remarks while addressing the media after the inaugural meeting which he presided as the Chairman.
In a communiquÃ© signed by Governor Jang and his Deputy, the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, they vowed to unite members of the NGF, and work for the unity of the country.
According to the communiquÃ©, the Forum restated â€œits commitment to continue being a platform for peer review, productive and collaborative engagement with all levels of governments.
The Forum also resolved to continue to encourage and collaborate with Mr. President to restore peace and security in the country and to secure a befitting permanent secretariat outside any Governorâ€™s Lodge and thanked all Nigerians for their support while promising not to let them down.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the South-East Governorsâ€™ Forum, Mr Peter Obi, and the Chairman of the South-South Governorsâ€™ Forum and Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke also announced the decision of the Governors in their zone to support the leadership of Chief Jang.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the Deputy Chairman described as fraudulent the process that purportedly produced Governor Rotimi Amaechi and said even in a village council election, an out-going Chairman cannot preside over his own election.
He said it was in acceptance of the leadership of Chief Jang that 18 Governors turned up for the inaugural meeting despite the less than 12 hours notice and expressed optimism that the next meeting would bring more Governors to the fold.
In attendance at the meeting were the Governors of Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Abia and Ondo. Others were the Governors of Katsina, Kaduna, Delta, Anambra, Taraba, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa Gombe and Kwara States.