- No, it’s not true, says opposition spokesman
By Lawrence Olaoye, Abuja & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
Governors on the platform of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday shunned the expanded National Security Council’s meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Villa.
But the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a swift reaction debunked the story insisting that the governors did not deliberately boycott the meeting.
Jonathan had on Wednesday summoned all governors and National Security Council to a meeting over rising security challenges in the country.
After meeting with the Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar in his office, they all moved to the First Lady Conference Room where governors were already seated.
Governors who attended the meeting were Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Ibrahim Dankwanbo (Gombe).
Others include Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Idris Wada (Kogi), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Sullivan Chime (Enugu).
Also at the meeting were Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Garba Umar (Acting Governor Taraba), Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, John Jonah and Deputy Governor of Kebbi State.
The meeting was also attended by the Defence Minister, Brigadier-General Aliyu Gusau (rtd); Director-General of State Security Service (SSS), Ita Ekpeyong; Minister of Interior, Abba Moro; National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
Reacting, the APC in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, said its governors were given the impression that the meeting had already been called off.
The statement read in parts ”On Wednesday, the Presidency called the Chief Detail of the Kwara State Government to say that the meeting has been called off. On the basis of this information, which apparently got to other Governors under the aegis of the APC, our Governors did not attend.
”Now that the meeting has been held, it is incumbent on the Presidency to launch an investigation into the source of the call to the Kwara State Government and what the call was meant to achieve.
”Irrespective of the totally unfounded and absolutely irresponsible allegation that the APC is behind the escalating security situation, our party will not shy away from any serious effort to end the terrorist attacks in our country. Therefore, it is not true that our Governors shunned the meeting with the President,” APC said