Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State Friday pulled out of the Northern Governors Forum until he was sure decisions reached at the forum would be binding and implemented by all members.
His decision further adds a new dimension to the crises rocking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum where issues of elections has polarised the members leading to factionalisation of the once powerful forum.
In a press conference in Makurdi, Suswam said he joins Governor Isa Yuguda to insist that there was no point belonging to a voluntary forum that could not stand by its decisions, where trust had taken flight among its members.
Suswam who has been at the forefront of the NGF has been involved in the leadership crises over his insistence that their procedure of choosing their leadership had never been through elections but by consensus.
However, the crust of his decision appears to be the alleged breaching of a decision by the Northern governors to vote for a consensus candidate in Jang against Governor Rotimi Amaechi who was running for a second term.
It turned out that some of the Northern governors voted for Amaechi and upstaged the agenda allegedly agreed in a meeting.
Suswam said he was miffed by the simple fact that people who held high offices could not be trusted or keep to their words in a simple election of a voluntary body, hence such people may easily betray for more important things to them.
“The northern governors’ forum is polarized because it is no longer conducive for us to sit as one in such meeting where a collective decision is taken and some people go out to do something else. We no longer trust ourselves,” Suswam insisted.
Asked if the position was final, his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Cletus Akwaya said his principal would no longer attend until he saw reasons to believe that things have changed and that decisions taken would be binding on members.
“He is not going to be party to any forum or association that its decisions would not be binding on its members. He won’t attend the meeting again until is sure the decisions of the forum would be binding on all members. It is not a serious issue; he is acting based on principle,” he clarified.
While backing Jonah Jang faction of the NGF, he alleged that Amaechi exhibited desperation, pointing out that to him, Jang was the rightful Chairman of NGF and “anybody else parading himself as such is deceiving himself”.