Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has expressed optimism that Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) will not disintegrate in spite of the election fallout.
Dickson made the remark at a state banquet in honour of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Yenagoa on Friday.
He said the forum would be repositioned to stabilise the polity and deepen democracy in the country.
According to him, efforts are underway to resolve the present crisis and that a new forum will collaborate with the Federal Government in moving the country forward.
Dickson disagreed with those calling for the dissolution of the body and added that the forum’s continued existence was relevant as it provided a platform for peer review mechanism.
“We copied the tradition of the American Governors’ Association.
“Some say because of this crisis the NGF is not necessary but I disagree.
“We need the NGF as a peer review mechanism.
“The NGF will come up strong and united after all of this.
“But it will be a different NGF; it will no longer go on as a trade union and platform for personal political aggrandisement or a platform for opposing the Federal Government.
“The NGF is not an alternative Federal Government.
“As governors, we are elected to govern our states and to collaborate with other levels of authority on critical issues, especially development and national security,” he said.
Dickson called on his colleagues to promote the independence of the judiciary in their respective states for better performance, stressing the importance of financial autonomy of the judiciary.
“Protecting the autonomy of the judiciary is the right thing to do.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on my colleagues to do that because if you support a pillar of democracy like the judiciary you are not doing so because you want to do them any favour.
“That is the right thing to do because society can only be as free as its judiciary is,” Dickson said.
Also, the President of NBA, Mr Okey Wali (SAN), expressed appreciation to Dickson for providing a conducive atmosphere for the association’s meeting.
He noted that fundamental issues were discussed, including the welfare of its members, a befitting national secretariat and the need to amend the 1999 Constitution..
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, commended the governor for giving the people of Bayelsa a purposeful leadership.