— They were not invited – Akpabio
— Jonathan reschedules meeting for Wednesday
— Presidency told us it was called off – APC govs
Abdullahi M. Gulloma
The 16 All Progressives Congress (APC) governors yesterday shunned the enlarged emergency security meeting summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja.
The meeting was summoned to take holistic appraisal of the recurring kidnaps, bombings and other security threats and developments in the country with a view to finding lasting solutions.
The president had earlier met with the members of the National Security Council namely Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen Aliyu Gusau (rtd); National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.); Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Service Chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of the State Security Services, Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali.
At the enlarged meeting, only governors elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) were in attendance. They are Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina), Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Mukhtar Ramallan Yero ( Kaduna), Isa Yuguda ( Bauchi), Martin Elechi ( Ebonyi), Garba Umar (Taraba), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe), Idris Wada (Kogi) and Jonah David Jang (Plateau).
Others include Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan (Delta), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), T. A Orji (Abia), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and the deputy governors of Kebbi and Bayelsa states.
But the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state told State House correspondents that the APC governors were not invited for the meeting.
His remarks contradict a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati on Wednesday that “the meeting of the National Security Council will be followed at 1300 Hours by an enlarged meeting on security developments in the country to which President Jonathan has invited state governors.”
The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Lai Mohammed, said in a statement that the APC governors did not attend the meeting because they were informed by the Presidency that it was called off.
He said: ”On Wednesday, the Presidency called the Chief Detail of the Kwara state government to say that the meeting has been called off. On the basis of this information, which apparently got to other governors under the aegis of the APC, our Governors did not attend.
”Now that the meeting has been held, it is incumbent on the Presidency to launch an investigation into the source of the call to the Kwara state government and what the call was meant to achieve.
”Irrespective of the totally unfounded and absolutely irresponsible allegation that the APC is behind the escalating security situation, our party will not shy away from any serious effort to end the terrorist attacks in our country. Therefore, it is not true that our Governors shunned the meeting with the President.”
Akbabio also told journalists that the president has rescheduled the meeting for Wednesday next week where all the 36 governors of the federation are expected to be in attendance.
He said: “I believe strongly, notice will be going out and all governors will be meeting with Mr. President and service chiefs next week Wednesday so we can sit and discuss and proffer solutions to the current insecurity in the country. I believe it will come to an end.”