Se­cu­rity meet­ing with Jonathan APC gov­er­nors not in­vited, Ak­pabio says

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

A meet­ing called by Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan yes­ter­day with gov­er­nors over sharp de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try was soon mired in con­tro­versy as the day pro­gressed.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Reuben Abati an­nounced Wed­nes­day Jonathan would hold two meet­ings be­gin­ning with se­cu­rity coun­cil meet­ing with ser­vice chiefs fol­lowed by an en­larged meet­ing with state gov­er­nors in at­ten­dance.

The meet­ing was called af­ter 75 people were killed when a sui­cide bomber at­tacked a bus sta­tion in the morn­ing rush hour on Mon­day and the ab­duc­tion of 129 fe­male stu­dents in Borno State the fol­low­ing day.

But as the meet­ing was about to get un­der­way it emerged 16 All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) gov­er­nors were not in at­ten­dance. Soon ru­mours be­gan to cir­cu­late that the op­po­si­tion gov­er­nors had boy­cotted the meet­ing.

At the end of a two-hour meet­ing jour­nal­ists sought for ex­pla­na­tion from Akwa Ibom State Gover­nor God­swill Ak­pabio on the ab­sence of APC gov­er­nors but he said they were not in­vited to the meet­ing.

Also, The­o­r­dore Orji of Abia state said the meet­ing was con­vened at the be­hest of PDP gov­er­nors dur­ing their meet­ing in Ji­gawa re­cently.

Orji said de­tails of their dis­cus­sion with the pres­i­dent were not for pub­lic con­sump­tion. “We un­der­took an es­sen­tial dis­cus­sion on the se­cu­rity of the na­tion. That is ex­actly what we did. De­tails are not for pub­lic be­cause they are se­cu­rity is­sues. Of course, no gover­nor is happy with what has hap­pened, but bear in mind that the meet­ing is at the in­stance of the PDP gov­er­nors. We took a de­ci­sion when we went to Ji­gawa and we re­quested the pres­i­dent to in­vite us to a meet­ing with the se­cu­rity chiefs. That is why we are here. We ini­ti­ated the meet­ing for clear­ance”.

Ak­pabio also said Jonathan noted that the cur­rent se­cu­rity chal­lenges in­volved all the states of the fed­er­a­tion and had there­fore agreed to meet with all the 36 state gov­er­nors at 4.00pm, next Wed­nes­day.

Ak­pabio, who is the chair­man of PDP gov­er­nors’ fo­rum when asked why Ondo and Anam­bra gov­er­nors, who are not of the PDP, at­tended the meet­ing, said he per­son­ally in­vited them be­cause “I have the right to in­vite who­ever I want.

“We just wanted to meet with our pres­i­dent and some ser­vice chiefs to air our views and also make some sug­ges­tions.

“Now, he (Jonathan) is in­sist­ing, which is right too, that it is a na­tional is­sue be­cause it must be han­dled na­tion­ally, and that is why all the gov­er­nors must be here. I don’t think there is a gover­nor who will not love to be here to also add his voice and sug­ges­tion on how we can tackle the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

“Of course, you know we are very much con­cerned first as PDP gov­er­nors and the cen­tre be­longs to the PDP, and so, we felt that we should see our dear pres­i­dent and if need be, with some of the se­cu­rity chiefs. He has gra­ciously lis­tened to us and he said since it is a na­tional is­sue, we must have all the 36 gov­er­nors in at­ten­dance.

He ex­pressed op­ti­mism that a meet­ing of all the 36 state gov­er­nors with the pres­i­dent and all the ser­vice chiefs would bring an end to the cur­rent se­cu­rity chal­lenges.

Ak­pabio also dis­closed that the pres­i­dent did not give them the de­tails of the on­go­ing emer­gency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States be­cause of the ab­sence of the gov­er­nors of the three states.

“On the state of emer­gency, no, he (the pres­i­dent) didn’t go into de­tails with us. Of course, you know that is a na­tional is­sue, and if you dis­cuss, you can shave a man’s head be­hind him. The gov­er­nors of the states that are in­volved in emer­gency are not here. So, I be­lieve that is­sue will be taken on when all the gov­er­nors are around on Wed­nes­day,” he said.

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