President Muhammadu Buhari, congratulating Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), on his election as President of the Forum of Regions of Africa (FORAF), expressed delight that in spite of the security challenges in Nigeria, “it is good to see that other countries still believe in our potentialities.”
President Buhari, hosting NGF delegation which include Governor Fayemi, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, and Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State at State House, Abuja, after the regional election after a conference in Casablanca, Morocco, declared: “In spite of the security challenges we have, it is good to see that other countries still believe in our potentialities. Congratulations for doing justice to Nigeria. We thank you.”
The President commended other countries in the African continent that supported Nigeria to win the FORAF President, saying it was a good show of brotherhood and solidarity.
Governor Sule briefed the President that Governors and other participants from about 22 African countries attended the conference. He added that deliberations were on regional issues, and thereafter, memorandum of understanding (MOUs) were signed on several regional interests like agriculture, mining, education, scholarships, and others.
Governor Sule further said that while Nigeria, from West Africa, won the Presidency, Vice Presidents emerged from South Africa, for Southern Africa; Kenya, East Africa; Morocco, Northern Africa; and Cameroon for Central Africa.
Governor Fayemi explained that the idea of FORAF is to make sub-nationals become engines of growth, “and reduce pressure on central governments.”
The NGF chairman said that FORAF is a unifying force for States (called Regions, Counties, or Provinces in other countries) “to create a globally respected continent,” noting that Nigeria’s election was a testimony to the huge respect President Buhari enjoys in Africa.
Fayemi disclosed, “other countries simply withdrew their bids once they saw that Nigeria was interested in the position.”
Meanwhile, the FORAF president was won by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, not an individual; so, Fayemi will concede the FORAF president to the next NGF chairman on the expiration of his tenure in 2023.