Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has berated the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) for not living up to expectation in fighting for the right of its member under All Progressive Congress (APC) tyranny.
Governor Wike expressed this on Monday, while talking to the pressmen in Port Harcourt on the case of his Edo state colleague, Governor Godwin Obaseki describing the forum as “a toothless bulldog”.
Wike said, NGF has become a toothless bulldog, it has lost focus on its role in defending the rule of law in the country. Added that the Forum used to be non-partisan and a powerful voice on national issues.
He noted that since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over the leadership of the body in 2015; governors have turned to beggars.
He emphasised that his condemnation of the disqualification of Obaseki was based on injustice against the Edo State governor, and not because of party affiliation.
He expressed: “There is no way a sitting governor can be disqualified in this manner. What APC has demonstrated is impunity because they have security and INEC.
“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t like to speak about Obaseki’s disqualification because APC is not my party; but because we are members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. The forum has become a toothless bulldog.
“It’s unfortunate that I belong to a forum that can only bark but cannot bite. The forum can only bark, but cannot bite. Since 2015, APC killed the Governors’ Forum.
“APC has demonstrated impunity by disqualifying a sitting governor. This is because they have security to unleash on people of Edo State”, Wike stated.
In its response, NGF said on Monday that Wike remained an old and very strong member of the forum despite his recent attack on the governors.
This was contained in a statement issued by its Head of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Barkindo.
The statement read: “Beggars’ Forum: Governor Wike is an old member of the NGF and a strong one at that.
“He could not have referred to the NGF as a Beggars’ Forum. Blame it on the author of the release, Mr. Nsirim, the Information Commissioner in Rivers State who could not distinguish between the NGF and the Progressive Governors’ Forum which is the political platform of APC governors.
“The NGF has six core mandate areas and politics is not one of them. The NGF is happy to state that Governor Wike is one of its strong members and has delegated his deputy governor to the Forum and she has never missed any meeting.”
”Also, the NGF appeals to all media advisers to seek to acquaint themselves with the different groups that their chief executives belong to in order to avoid making such misrepresentations that are entirely political and not governance-related.”