19 governors boycott cash crisis talks with Jonathan

By The Rainbow

A crisis meeting called last night by President Goodluck Jonathan over the stalling of last month's revenue allocation was shunned by 19 governors.

The meeting at House 7, State House, Abuja got underway at about 10pm, following the arrival of the President.

Governors in the Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang's faction of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), who had earlier met, were at the Villa meeting.

All the 19 pro- Rivers Governor Rotimi Amaechi were not at the meeting.

It was gathered that all the governors were in Abuja for the meeting and indeed wanted to attend until they reviewed their participation following some developments.

Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said last night that at the end of the one-hour meeting, a committee of four governors was set up by the President to meet this morning with the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Members of the committee are: Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe).

Jonathan, Abati said, felt there was no need to quarell because the money belongs to all.

Only 16 governors attended yesterday's meeting of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) called by the Jonah Jang faction.

Besides Jang, other governors at the meeting were: Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Theodore Orji (Abia); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Idris Wada (Kogi); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom).

Others were: Isa Yuguda (Bauchi); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Sullivan Chime (Enugu); Peter Obi (Anambra); Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe); Umar Garba (Taraba); Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Steve Lawani (Benue Dep. Governor).

Speaking briefly with newsmen after the meeting, Jang said he would not disclose discussions at the meeting, as according to him, the governors were still going to brief President Goodluck Jonathan later in the night.

On the accusation of impersonation leveled against him by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Jang said: 'Am I claiming to be governor of Rivers State?'

On why only 16 governors attended the meeting, the Plateau Governor said he needed only 12 governors to form a quorum and that 16 is far above the number.