Governor Amaechi halts Governors Forum meeting for President Goodluck Jonathan's dinner

Fifteen state governors attended the first meeting summoned by Governor Rotimi Amaechi as chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum.

The meeting, the first after the controversial chairmanship elections of the forum, had five state governors from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in attendance.

According to Mr Amaechi, the meeting could not hold in deference to the dinner being hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa.

“We have shifted the meeting to honour the invitation sent to us for dinner by the President. We would have loved to meet, but we have to honour the President’s invitation” he said.

Some members of the forum reportedly questioned the timing of the presidential dinner, saying it was a ploy by the presidency, who is believed to be against Mr. Amaechi, to undermine the meeting, all agreed there was need to honour the presidency by attending the dinner, a source said.

The two main antagonists in the NGF crisis Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who won the May 24 election of the forum and Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, who leads a faction of the group attended the mid-term dinner organised by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Although Jang and members of his faction were already seated before the arrival of the President which signalled the commencement of the dinner, Amaechi and his loyalists arrived at the same time shortly after the event had started.

A mild drama however played out when Amaechi, who cancelled a meeting of the NGF earlier scheduled for 8pm on Wednesday, joined the table where Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and others were already seated.

In the process of exchanging pleasantries, Amaechi was heard pointing to Akpabio and saying, “No, you can never be a democrat.”