Yuguda returns to Northern Governors Forum
Governor Isa Yuguda on Bauchi State has staged a return to the Northen States Governors' Forum (NSGF), which le left shortly after the troubled Nigeria Governors' Forum elections.
The governor said he was returning as a result of appeals of Northern elders in order give fair representation to the region.
Yuguda, who spoke with journalists through his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Yusuf Musa Gumli, at Government House, Bauchi, said his earlier the decision to withdraw from the NSGF was the consequence of the injustice perpetrated during the last NGF election.
In the election, some northern governors, including the incumbent NSGF chairman, Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, sold a dummy to some of their colleagues who were against the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Ameachi, by adopting Gov. Jonah Jang as their compromise candidate.
They later voted Amaechi despite the earlier agreement by NSGF to adopt Jang.
Yuguda added that he realised that there was no fair play within the forum when Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State conducted an open vote, which he said was not a fair deal.
'It is very disappointing that the political trend as it recently relates to the Northern States Governors' Forum in its bid to elect a leader ended up in a tussle among the governors and it is a minus on their part.
'Before the election, the Northern States Governors' Forum decided that Governors Shettima and Yuguda should step down in favour of Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, who happened to be the consensus candidate, but instead of sticking to the plan, the governor of Niger State, Aliyu Babangida compromised our position on the agreed candidate,' he said.
Noting that the unity of the Northern States Governors' Forum was at stake, Governor Yuguda said that he felt he could no longer be part of the group, saying that this informed his earlier position to withdraw from the forum.
He stated that with the intervention of elders from the region, he decided to let go off his initial stance and was returning to the forum.
According to the Bauchi State helmsman, 'I, however, decided to mend fences by letting go of the past and return back to the forum. Secondly, I have decided to heed the appeals from concerned elders in the North who want me to eschew sentiments and give fair representation to the North in the forum.
'As an obedient son, I have accepted their appeals and gone back to the forum. I have never taken sides with Jonah Jang, I was only working under the instruction of the NSGF so that Plateau State will be the centre of the North,where there is fair representation,' he said.
Speaking on his ambition after leaving office in 2015 as Bauchi State governor, Yuguda averred that there was nothing wrong for him to aspire for the post of the President, Vice-President or even the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
'There is nothing wrong for one to aspire for any position in the country so long as due process and legitimacy is followed,' he declared.
Meanwhile, the governor has dismissed allegations doing the round in the media that the Bauchi State government was instigating the crises in neighbouring Plateau State, submitting that it was wrong for the Plateau State government to hold Bauchi State responsible for itsfailure to address security challenges in its state.
He stated that Bauchi State had its own security challenges, which it never attributed to any state but was doing every thing within its limit tpo tackle them with a view to having a peaceful state and pursuing its developmental agenda.
'Bauchi State also faces its own insecurity problems and have never attributed blame to anybody. For instance, the state has been battling with the issue of Tafawa Balewa crisis for years and have step up to the challenge.
'If the state government is to make excuse for its failures, we will still be having crisis in the state and that why is until today, people can run to Bauchi State and find safety because the state accommodates everybody irrespective of tribe, ethnic and religion,' Governor Yuguda said.