Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has been unanimously elected the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governors Forum. He was elected on Wednesday at Abuja during a meeting that had in attendance all the APC governors who are members of the Forum.
It was gathered that the position was meant to assuage the Southeast, which was denied Senate president and speakership positions by the party. Recall that the president, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu had endorsed Senator Godswill Akpabio and Hon. Tajudeen Abbas for Senate president and House of Representatives speakership positions respectively.
The choice of Governor Uzodimma for the position was a source of gladness to the ruling Party’s States chief executives, all of whom attested to his capacity to lead “his brother governors” in ways that would be a delight to all.
Governor Uzodimma’s latest responsibility came barely three days ago after he was conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari and another honour, last weekend, by the former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
The PGF is an organization, which comprises Governors elected under the All Progressives Congress (APC) banner, which serves as a platform for collaboration, policy development, and sharing of experiences among its members.
But few political observers, while commenting on the development, criticised the position of chairman, APC Governors Forum, stressing that the office is unconstitutional and does not carry any weight in terms of adding political value to the country’s political firmament. Such jamboree forum didn’t exist during the Shehu Shagari era. It didn’t exist during the Tafawa Balewa era.
“Besides the media hype that goes with the so-called chairman governors’ forum, of what political significance is it? Nigeria was better off when the governors’ forum, which seems more like a jamboree, hadn’t come into existence,” said a political analyst, who preferred anonymity. Take for instance, the southern governors forum made the so-called anti-open grazing law, which was like a toothless bulldog that can only bark but can’t bite. Today, cattle still roam the farms and roads and fields in southern Nigeria. What kind of governors’ forum is that?” another pundit asked.
He added: “Take another example. The so-called southeast governors’ forum. The governors’ forum held plenty of meetings in Enugu. But when it got to taking action on the formation of a zonal or southeast regional security outfit like the Amotekun in southwest zone, the southeast governors forum failed woefully. The two states – Ebonyi and Imo where the so-called Ebubeagu exist, they operate like an anti-Igbo militia causing all manner of harm and destructions to the civilians.
“Forget it, my brother. The other zones are leaking the political milk and honey but left our political leaders with the chaff. If you recall, Nnamdi Azikiwe was tricked to accept ceremonial President while the real power rested with the Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa. Now the Imo governor has grabbed the chairman APC Governors Forum. Of what relevance is position to the average Imo citizens, let alone southeasterners, when put the position on the table?”
However, in a statement by the Hope Media Centre, made available to Vanguard, Uzodimma will play a crucial role in fostering unity and driving unity among the APC governors.
“Governor Uzodimma’s emergence as Chairman of the PGF is a testament to his leadership skills and his ability to garner support from his fellow Governors. As Chairman of the forum, Governor Uzodimma will play a crucial role in guiding the forum’s activities, fostering unity among the Governors, and driving the agenda of the APC across the States.”
“With this new position, Governor Uzodimma will have the opportunity to contribute to shaping the policies and strategies of the APC. He will be at the forefront of discussions and decision-making processes that will have a direct impact on the party’s direction and the development of the country. His leadership will be vital in promoting effective governance, encouraging collaboration among states, and ensuring the implementation of APC’s progressive agenda.”