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The Chairmanship Of The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) And The Unity Of The Region


By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

Yes! Woke up this morning with the thought of the above subject matter on my mind. I reflected and appraised the over stretched tenure of the former Niger State Governor, Mua'zu Babangida Aliyu and the rumours that were being whispered in some quarters on why he remained there almost throughout his two terms as governor, in spite of his uncharismatic leadership style.
Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF)
For those that hate my bluntness, get ready to hate me more for this opinion of mine, but I must express my feelings on this one. Some people said then that the chairmanship of the NSGF was being rotated alphabetically. It was only rational for Plateau to take over from Niger, but we are all living witnesses that it never happened, and no one even dared ask why, and the secretariat of the forum never spoke on the matter, that came and passed.


I am a 'Christian' by faith and that makes me concerned about the development that in the 18 years of this present democracy, no Governor from a Christian dominated state has chaired the NSGF. Now someone may say it was not deliberate. But that person should also give me a good reason why the meetings of the forum were not hosted by late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa while he was in-charge of Kaduna State as the tradition before him, and as we have witnessed after his demise. Or was that also a coincidence? Call me a bigot or whatever you choose to coin out, it makes no difference, I know you are only angry with me for seeing the hand writings on the wall, which you'd rather I didn't see.

It is however interesting that a powerful governor from the North West is presently adopting soft sell in positioning the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong. I believe he would sooner than later, convince his colleagues to accept Lalong to lead the forum in the interest of unity of the Northern Region ahead of 2019 electioneering campaigns.


Being an intelligent governor who is also highly influential within and outside the region, I am believing he would go ahead and make it happen, so that Christians from the North will once again be ready to proudly say they are from Arewa, knowing that they are being respected and not relegated to second class citizens who are only sought for when the numbers games are required.

This is also owing to the mixed reactions of many, following the storming out of the venue of the NSGF meeting recently at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, by the Taraba State Governor, Architect Darius Dickson Ishaku and shortly after, Benue State Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu also left the venue after receiving a phone call. Even though their departures may be on personal grounds not on issues affecting the region, many would easily assume that all didn't go well at that meeting.

JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON is the founder of Minorities Unity Movement (MUM)


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