Director-General of NGF backs Amaechi

By The Rainbow

The Director-General of the Nigeria Governors' Forum, Dr. Asishana Okauru, has given an independent perspective to the lingering crisis besetting the Nigerian Governor Forum.

Okauru dismissing the recent claim by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State that the forum had opened a new secretariat.

He said that the NGF has only one secretariat and a chairman, who was reelected by the governors - Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

According to him, the NGF has  only one  functional secretariat in Asokoro, Abuja and that the 36 governors were committed to respecting the place.

NGF had split in two with two factions each claiming to hold the authentic mandate of the forum. While Gov. Amaechi was re-elected with a vote of 19 to 16 by his only contender Gov Jonah Jang of Plateau State.

Okauru,  who led employees of the NGF secretariat on a solidarity visit to Amaechi, said the crisis rocking the forum would soon be resolved.

He said, 'There is only one secretariat, and I am in contact with all the 36 governors. But there is an issue the governors are trying to resolve and we have a chairman that was re-elected, Rotimi Amaechi.

'The entire NGF secretariat decided a couple of days back that we needed to pay a visit on Governor Amaechi and we are here today, and the governor has been taking us round to see the infrastructure on the ground in the state.'

He pointed out that the NGF employees were impressed with the level of infrastructural development in the health and education sectors in the state.

According to the NGF Director-General, the sporting facilities and on-going construction work at the Greater Port Harcourt City are great projects to behold.

He added, 'It is very clear that the state is a model state and we are very impressed with the level of infrastructure and institutions on the ground.'

Also, the Head, Peer Review Programme of the forum, Dr. Afeikrena Jerome, said though the peer review initiative was undertaken by the 36 states, the health and education facilities in Rivers State were comparable to the ones in developed societies.

Jerome said, 'I am sure that these facilities when completed can compete with others across the developed countries. The peer review is for by all the states of the federation.

'In terms of how far we have gone, Anambra and Ekiti states have already completed the process. The approach is that a state will first carry out its own self-assessment and then the panel of eminent persons led by the former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais, will lead his own team to inspect and write a report for presentation to the governors.

'That is the way peer review works. Rivers State as you know is currently working on its self-assessment report. It is only after then that the team will come and carry out the peer review.'