Facts have emerged that Ekiti and Kaduna state governors Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai are to slug it out next week for the position of the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
The Bridge News gathered that Fayemi and El-Rufai who are both second term governors are expected to battle for the position on Wednesday, May 22, before the Thursday valedictory session of the current NGF chaired by outgoing Governor of Zamfara State And Senator-Elect Abdulazeez Yari.
Yari’s term as NGF’s chair has been very eventful as his team pursued and supervised the bailout funds to states as well as the auditing of the controversial Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) disbursements to the Federation account among others.
Investigations by The Bridge News correspondents revealed that both governors are already making campaign overtures to their colleagues with a view to winning their support to clinch the NGF chair position for the next four years.
Sources close to the governors told our correspondents in the course of this report that Fayemi who enjoys the support of many of his colleague governors (because of his liberal attitude as well as his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari), stands a better chance to win the election than his Kaduna state counterpart.
One of the sources, who spoke to our correspondent, on the condition of anonymity, said that the odd against the Kaduna governor is his very arrogant and uncompromising attitude as well as his present frosted relationship with top Aso Rock men including the president.
According to the source” Gov Fayemi will be more amenable to changes than El-Rufai. He will be easy to manage and work harmoniously with as NGF Chairman than El-Rufai. If El-Rufai is elected as the NGF’s Chairman, he can’t be controlled and I can assure you that NGF will continually be in crisis in the next four years.
“So I believe that the governors know better and would elect one of them that will be able to steer the affairs of the Forum positively”.
Our investigations gathered that the only odd against Fayemi may be his overt ambition to run for the office of president in 2023 as well as his frosty relationship with former Lagos governor Senator Bola Tinubu.
“Many people will take Fayemi’s election as NGF chairman as a platform for realizing his overt ambition of becoming Nigeria’s president In 2023 after President Buhari. And you know Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is there as well as Tinubu who everybody knows want to take a shot at the office of president in 2023. The former governor will do everything to ensure that Fayemi doesn’t win the election,” the source stated further.
The statement credited to El-Rufai that godfatherism in Lagos politics should be dismantled the source added is another source of worry to the ‘Jagaban’.
“Am sure most Tinubu supporters would not want Fayemi as the NGF Chairman because they fear that would further propel him to prominence at the national level and thus jeopardize the chances of their godfather from running for the Presidency in 2023 but again El-Rufai presently seems to be at loggerheads with Tinubu.
“Both ways, the election won’t Favour the Lagos politician,” the source further stated.
“All these calculations may just not work as one of the underdog governors may become the leader of the Forum. The governor of Ebonyi state Mr. David Umahi is there.
“He is liked by so many of the governors and also he is a friend of the president. Who knows, something dramatic may happen next week. We all all watching to see what unfolds at the NFG election next week,” another source said.