Succession crisis rocks govs’ forum

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    Succession crisis rocks govs’ forum

    By Niyi Odebode, Olusola Fabiyi and Tunde Odesola
    Monday, 1 Nov 2010

    A succession crisis has hit the Nigerian Governors’ Forum as its members are divided on the reported emergence of Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel as its chairman.

    Daniel was elected by 20 Peoples Democratic Party governors in Abuja on Friday night to replace Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who is now a PDP presidential aspirant. ... 1013144648

    Apart from the Secretariat of the NGF which explained on Sunday that the process that led to Daniel’s emergence was faulty, Governors Adams Oshiomhole(Edo) and Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano) also kicked against the Ogun governor’s choice as the forum’s leader.

    But the Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye, and the factional Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr. Yemi Coker, hailed Daniel’s election as the new NGF chairman.

    The NGF secretariat, however, moved to douse the tension when it said in a statement by its Director-General, Mr. Bayo Okauru, that the forum was yet to meet and pick a new leader.

    THE PUNCH, however, gathered in Abuja on Sunday that the succession crisis was the fallout of the battle for the PDP presidential ticket for the 2011 poll.

    Investigations showed that Saraki had favoured a governor, who is sympathetic to his ambition in particular and zoning in general as his successor.

    A source close to the PDP told one of our correspondents in Abuja, that those opposed to Saraki’s plans met on Friday and announced Daniel as the new chairman of the NGF.

    Our source, who asked not to be named because he was not in a position to speak on the matter, said that the group led by the governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswan, met on Friday and announced Daniel as the next chairman.

    According to him, the Suswan group realised that it needed to move fast when it got wind of the Kwara State governor’s alleged plans to install a successor.

    Our correspondent learnt that that was why the Suswan group quickly mobilised after the President Goodluck Jonathan campaign fundraiser on Friday and announced Daniel as the new chairman.

    Announcing Daniel’s election Suswan said that since Saraki joined the presidential race, the NGF had not been able to respond to national issues such as the October 1 bomb blasts in Abuja.

    But in their separate reactions on Sunday, Oshiomhole and Shekarau described Daniel’s election as “distasteful, embarrassing and unacceptable.â€

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