A crucial meeting called by the All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum (APC-GF), was shunned by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and 21 of the 24 state governors elected on the party’s platform.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha who spoke on the botched meeting blamed the development on the inability of Osinbajo to attend the forum.
The APC National Assembly Caucus, the National Working Committee (NWC) and other stakeholders were also expected at the meeting, but most of them did not show up.
The party leaders were expected to deliberate on the 2017 budget at the parley slated for the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
Before the forum was cancelled, the Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Sonni Tyoden and the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, left the venue after waiting for almost an hour.
Okorocha, who is the chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), later arrived at the venue in the company of his Zamfara State counterpart, Abdul Aziz Yari .
They left the venue after they were convinced that about 21 governors and majority of the NASS Caucus had boycotted the meeting.
Sources close to the APC Governors’ Forum blamed the cancellation of the meeting on poor planning, regretting that only three of 24 governors, a few members of the National Assembly and federal government representatives showed up for it.
But sources at the APC claimed that the governors and National Assembly members were duly informed of the meeting, just as the APC-NWC were notified on time, arguing that the decision of the stakeholders to shun the meeting was a proof that peace had remained elusive in the party.
Speaking with journalist at the venue, Okorocha, who arrived an hour behind schedule, said the absence of Osibanjo was responsible for the rescheduling of the meeting, insisting that they wanted him to be physically present.
According to him, “We wanted the Acting President to be here in person. This programme coincided with other programmes because there are lots of questions that might come up that require national answers.
“Most of the legislators; the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives are also engage in other programmes.
“Only last Friday, most governors left for their states to come back on Monday, but it was not convenient. The dispatched messages couldn’t get to them, some had come and some did not get the invitation. So, we agreed we should shift it to next week,” Okorocha stated.
In his reaction, House of Representatives Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, attributed the rescheduling of the meeting to the desire of the conveners to get things right, adding that the agenda contained national issues that must be discussed by the majority of stakeholders.