An expanded security meeting to dwell on the worsening insecurity across Nigeria was held on Wednesday in the absence of 16 of Nigeria’s 36 state governors.
The absentees, all members of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, were not invited to the meeting, the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, who was asked to brief journalists after the meeting, said.
“”No, No, No; they (APC governors) were not invited,” Mr. Akpabio, a member of Mr. Jonathan’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, told journalists.
Despite the fact that three of the states mostly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and thus under emergency rule – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe – are controlled by APC governors, and that Mr. Jonathan had blamed the APC governors for the insurgency in their states, Mr. Akpabio tried to justify the reason why the opposition governors were not invited to the meeting.
“You know there was an initial requisition of this meeting by the PDP governors, this was as a fall out of our own meeting. And so it wasn’t something that was extended to all,” he said.
“That is why I said they have been invited on Wednesday,” the Akwa Ibom governor added, saying the opposition governors have now been invited to an enlarged meeting on April 23 where all the governors, security chiefs, and the president will be present.
He said Thursday’s meeting was initiated by the PDP governors, whose forum he heads, to give the president and the service chiefs their views on the security challenge.
Mr. Akpabio stated that Mr. Jonathan, however, decided that since the security challenge was a national one, all the 36 governors should be in attendance.
“We just wanted to meet with our president and some service chiefs to hear our views and also make some suggestions. Now he (the president) is insisting, which is right too, that is a national issue because it must be handled nationally and that is why all the governors must be here.”