By Tunde Sanni
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rotimi Amaechi,Wednesday declared that the forum never disagreed on the ongoing constitution amendment, clarifying that the body agreed on all the issues discussed on the amendment to the constitution.
Amaechi who was in Ibadan, Oyo State, on a dual mission - to condole with the family of the late Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Eso, and a visit to the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, however saluted the transformation agenda of the Ajimobi administration which he noted has changed the face of the state capital to a cleaner environment from a filthy set up.
On the alleged deadlock of the governors’ forum, the governor said: “We never disagreed. We agreed on all the issues we discussed. We met in the morning by 10a.m. and by 3p.m.; if we had disagreed we could closed before 12p.m. and not the time we closed.”
The NGF chief who is also the Rivers State governor, disabused the minds of Nigerians on personal interests in their discussion, insisting that their interests transcended local and primordial sentiments. He pointed out that some of them would be finishing their tenure in 2015 and hence would cease to be governors, “so if there has been anything personal, we will vacate the seat and such issues would no more avail us.
According to him, “these things we are doing, we are doing it for the benefit of the country. We will leave by 2015 so it can’t be to protect our personal interests. If that were so, we will be looking at national stage because most of us are eyeing the national stage at the end of our tenure, instead, we are thinking of how to run a proper federalism. I don’t think the governors are doing what they are doing because they want to please or protect their own interests.
“Right now, we have a picture of a man whose head is very big, his stomach very big but has tiny legs like that of a broomstick, that is what Nigeria looks like now. We are doing what we are doing because we believe that this country should be governed in a proper manner.”
However, the governor said that the forum was concerned on the autonomy of local governments and the funding of the state legislatures.
“Local governments should no more be an issue that should bother the country. It should no more be autonomous.”
On the state legislatures, he said: “There was the need for us to meet the house of assemblies and see how we can improve the funding for the benefit of the country and how to manage the meagre resources for the benefit of the country.”
On Eso, Amaechi described him as a foremost jurist whose landmark judgment has impacted on the lives of the common man in the country.