NGF election fallout: Amaechi meets Jang at presidential dinner
For the first time since the election that caused a division in the Nigeria Governors' Forum, the two main antagonists in the NGF crisis Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who won the May 24 election of the forum and Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, who leads a faction of the group- finally met at a mid-term dinner organised by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
Almost all the 36 state governors converged for the event with Jang and members of his faction already seated before the arrival of the President, while Amaechi and his loyalists arrived at the same time shortly after the event had started.
A mild drama however played out when Amaechi, who cancelled a meeting of the NGF earlier scheduled for 8pm on Wednesday, joined the table where Governor GodswillAkpabio of AkwaIbom State and others were already seated.
In the process of exchanging pleasantries, Amaechi was heard pointing to Akpabio and saying, 'No, you can never be a democrat.'
Some governors in the Amaechi faction were initially seated among journalists at the back of the hall before they were ushered in to the front where seats were reserved for them.
The other governors in attendance were those of Niger, Lagos, Nasarawa, Imo, Edo, Adamawa, Zamfara, Ogun, Kano, Ekiti and Jigawa.
Others were the governors of Sokoto, Cross River, Bauchi, Abia, Plateau, Kogi, Ebonyi , Ondo, Delta, Anambra and Kaduna states.
The acting governor of Taraba State and the deputy governors of Bayelsa, Kwara, Katsina, Benue and Gombe States were also in attendance.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, AlhajiAminuTambuwwal, was however absent at the dinner attended by the President of the Senate, David Mark; and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
The dinner was still ongoing at the time of filing this report.
Before the cancellation of the NGF meeting, some of the Pro-Amaechi governors had converged on the Rivers State Governor's Lodge, Asokoro, where they took the final decision to attend the dinner.
In a brief chat with journalists before they moved to the Villa, Amaechi said 'We have shifted the meeting to honour the invitation sent to us for dinner by the President. We would have loved to meet, but we have to honour the President's invitation.