Strong indications emerged at the weekend that the vice chairman of Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) and governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, may have concluded plans to remove its chairman, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State. Investigations revealed that Suswam who is pro-Jonah Jang in the ongoing power tussle in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has succeeded in wooing those in support of Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, among the northern governors to his side.
The development, it was gathered, was responsible for the absence of 13 governors at the meeting convened by Aliyu in Kaduna on Thursday. While only five governors supporting Amaechi were present, others merely sent representatives. It was also learnt that the suspension of Dr. Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto State, has sent jitters down the spine of some of the governors, hence the decision to review their position on which of the factions of the NGF to support. Those in attendance at NSGF meeting were the chairman of the forum, Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Muktar Yero (Kaduna), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Muktar Ramalan Yero(Kaduna) the host governor who belong to Jang camp. Governors Jonah Jang and Gabriel Suswam were represented by their Secretaries to the State Government, SSGs, while Kwara, Kano, Kogi, Borno, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states were represented by their deputies. Media gathered that pro Jang governors have planned to dissolve Governor Aliyu-led Northern States Governors Forum,NSGF, executives in the forthcoming meeting as his tenure ends. However, Governor Gabriel Suswam’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr.Cletus Akwaya, in a telephone interview, said his principal and others absence might be connected with the outcome of NGF election but declined to comment further.