The meeting of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, where its officers will be elected, has just commenced in Abuja, with strong indications that two candidates for the position of the chairman: Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema and his Bauchi State counterpart, Isa Yuguda, have withdrawn from the race.
About 33 out of the 36 state governors have already arrived at the Rivers State Governor's Lodge, Abuja, venue of the meeting where a source told PREMIUM TIMES that the Plateau State Governor, David Jang, has joined the race for chairmanship of the Forum.
With this development, Mr. Jang joins the incumbent chairman of the Forum and Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, in the race.
The position of Vice Chairman of the Forum is reportedly being contested between two opposition governors, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State. Mr. Yari belongs to All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, which is part of the yet to be registered All Progressives Congress; while Mr. Mimiko is of the Labour Party, LP, and is believed to be an ally of President Goodluck Jonathan. The Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi is the outgoing vice chairman.
It was gathered that Mr. Jang, who is about 70 years old, was picked as the consensus candidate at the meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, which held in Abuja on Friday morning.
The northern governors met at the Niger State Governors Lodge in the Asokoro District of Abuja; and the meeting lasted for more than three hours.
Both Messrs Shema and Yuguda were advised to step down for their Plateau State counterpart by the Northern governors, a source said.
Prior to the ongoing meeting of the NGF at the Rivers State Governors Lodge, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors met at the Akwa Ibom State Governor's Lodge while the opposition governors under the umbrella of the APC, met at Lagos House to strategise for the election.
It was not clear if Mr. Amaechi, a member of PDP, attended the party's governors meeting chaired by Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State.