SNG, others want NGF scrapped

PUNCH
3rd June, 2013

June 2, 2013 by LEKE BAIYEWU
Yinka OdumakinYinka Odumakin
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Some civil rights groups have called for the scrapping of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to forestall a breakdown of law and order in the country.

They said this would allow the members to pay proper attention to the administration of their states.

The groups – Save Nigeria Group, Campaign for Democracy and Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders – in separate interviews with our correspondent on Friday, said the forum had lost its value due to the crisis that followed its chairmanship election.

Spokesman of the SNG, Yinka Odumakin, said the governors had abandoned the welfare of the people in their respective states, which was the primary reason for which they were elected.

He said, “The governors were not elected to be active in unionism all over the place, they were elected to govern their states. Most of these governors abandoned that responsibility. They are now doing what they were not elected to do, which is NGF. The earlier the body is scrapped or proscribed, the better for us.”

The President, Campaign for Democracy, Joe Okei-Odumakin, equally said the governors should return to their states for adequate governance.

She said, “One is in full support of its scrapping so that people will know the value of whom they have voted for. It is not even constitutionally recognised; it is nothing but a governors’ club. Although they have a total freedom of association, but, it is getting terribly messy and embarrassing. It should just be disbanded.”

Okei-Odumakin, the Executive Chairman, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, also said although the constitution did not recognise the forum, it was legitimate and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, adding that the governors could exercise their freedom of association.

He however noted that the electorate would not tolerate the governors, where the exercise of their rights infringed upon the rights of Nigerians.

After an election on May 24, 2013, the incumbent NGF chairman and Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, and his challenger, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, had both claimed to have won the poll.

The Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, shortly after the election, announced Amaechi as winner after polling 19 votes to Jang’s 16.

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