Nigeria: Northeast Governors Forum Appoints Abba-Aji As Executive Secretary

17 September 2020

Mr Abba-Aji will "coordinate the forum's affairs, head the secretariat and provide administrative and policy assistance towards the attainment of the Forum's vision and objectives".

A former presidential liaison officer to the National Assembly, Muhammed Abba-Aji, has been appointed the Executive Secretary of the newly formed Northeast Governors Forum (NEGF).

Mr Abba-Aji's appointment was conveyed to him in a letter signed by the forum's chairman and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum.

A statement by the governor's spokesperson, Isa Gusau, said the former Borno senator's appointment starts immediately and is renewable after two years.

The appointment letter reads: "Following the unanimous decision of the Governors of the North East Forum, and in my capacity as the Chairman of the North East Governors Forum (NEGF), it is my honour and pleasure to offer you the position of the Executive Secretary of the North East Governors Forum from the date of this letter".

The forum said Mr Abba-Aji was appointed based on his "academic background and wealth of experience in both public and the private sector."

The appointment letter also mentioned Mr Abba-Aji's "legislative experience in the National Assembly and corporate experience in the financial sector" as reasons that informed the decision of the Forum on your choice."

Governor Zulum said the new Executive Secretary's skills and wealth of experience would be valuable to the forum..

Mr Abba-Aji's job is to "coordinate the forum's affairs, head the secretariat and provide administrative and policy assistance towards the attainment of the Forum's vision and objectives".

"We look forward to your positive response to this offer and the pleasure of working with you to build a positive working relationship that will benefit the people of the North East region" Governor Zulum's letter read.

Mr Abba-Aji, a lawyer, was a former member of the All Progressives Congress before he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party in 2018 after he was denied the ticket to re-contest the senatorial seat of Borno Central.

During the 2019 election, Mr Abba-Aji was a vicious critic of the election that brought all the APC-dominated Borno state elected public office holders, stressing that his party (PDP) was deliberately rigged out "and robbed" of their supposed mandate. He made a similar statement during the primary elections in 2003 when be defected from the PDP to the defunct ANPP where he secured an automatic ticket to emerge senator.

He later defected back to the PDP in 2007 citing the same reason.

The NEGF was formed in March when the governors of the northeast states first met in Gombe. In August, the governors met in Maiduguri for the second time during which Mr Zulum was elected chairman for a period of two years.

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