Two Peoples Democratic Party governors nearly came to blows Sunday at a meeting in Abuja called to form a separate platform for PDP governors, Daily Trust learnt from a reliable source yesterday.
The source said the formation of the forum was encouraged by President Godluck Jonathan as a counterpoise to the Governors Forum whose chairman Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state is rumoured to nurse an ambition to run in 2015 as vice president to Sule Lamido of Jigawa state.
According to the source, as soon as the meeting began Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, an Amaechi partisan, criticised the need for a PDP governors forum. He argued that the governors forum engenders unity adding that the ruling party is already dominant in the forum.
However, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, said to be a Jonathan supporter for 2015, rose to his feet and challenged Aliyu for opposing the creation of the forum. He said the decision was taken to set up the forum at a meeting the previous day where Aliyu was absent, and that he could not therefore oppose it now.
Their exchanges degenerated into harsh words for each other and they began to inch forward angrily. At this stage some governors moved forward quickly and came between them, as they continued to hurl unpleasant words over the heads of those that separated them.
Finally, the source said, they were persuaded back to their seats as a few governors moved back and forth to broker peace. At last they succeeded and they were encouraged to embrace themselves. They did and the meeting continued.
The source said no election was held when the meeting ended but PDP Chairman Bamanga Tukur announced to reporters that Akpabio had been elected chairman.