By Ismaila Chafe
Gov. Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara will be leading a seven-man delegation of Governors’ Forum on a goodwill visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in London.
President Buhari had on Sunday in London received a delegation of All Progressives Congress (APC) which comprised national leadership of the party and two of its governors—Nasir El-Rufai and Rochas Okorocha.
However, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, told State House correspondents that a fresh team comprising Governors of Zamfara, Ebonyi, Kano, Borno, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Oyo would be visiting the President in London on Tuesday.
Shehu briefed the correspondents alongside the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina and Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Office of the Vice-President).
According to him, the governors will be meeting the President on Wednesday in London.
“The delegation is being led by the governor of Zamfara, who is the chairman of the Governors’ Forum and in that delegation there will be the governors of Ebonyi, Kano, Borno, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Oyo states.
“They will leave tonight and make an early morning arrival in the UK,’’ he said.
In his contribution, Femi Adesina said the selection of members of the delegation was done by the Governors’ Forum.
He dismissed the insinuation that Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti, a renowned critic of President Buhari’s administration, was deliberately excluded from the trip.
“The selection was not done by the government. It was done by the Governors’ Forum and you can see that the delegation is headed by Gov. Yari, who is chairman of that forum.
“So, that question should then go to the forum,’’ he added.
According to Adesina, the president, who is recuperating very fast, preferred receiving delegations rather than addressing the nation through broadcast.
Adesina stated that the two ministers recently confirmed by the Senate would soon be sworn-in
In his remarks, Laolu Akande revealed that the report on the inter-ministerial committee on the Ogoni Clean-up would be released next week.
“Next week there is going to be a follow up meeting between the Acting President and the PANDEF.
“You will recall that last November the President held a meeting with the leaders of PANDEF where issues of Niger Delta development was discussed in which the Acting President embarked on the visit to the states of the Niger Delta.
“And since then the president asked that an inter-ministerial committee be composed led by the Vice President to look at all the issues, specifically using the PANDEF demand as the take off point.
”Regarding Ogoni clean up, they are also going to give an update of what has been happening. For instance, the coordinating team that was set up for the Ogoni clean up conducted health impact assessment, they have done salt test, water test, they have hired a number of sons and daughters of Ogoni who are trained on environmental sciences as technical assistants, I think about 15 of them.
“In the next few weeks they are going to go back to Geneva where a wholistic road map on the clean up itself will be concluded with the international partners.”
The presidential aide announced that the ground breaking of the first set of the Modular Refineries would take place in August.
He also disclosed that the Maritime University would be opened in October, as the Vice Chancellor had been asked to bring a take-off budget for the institution.
According to him, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved a number of courses for the university.