From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari warmly congratulated Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, on his election as President of the Forum of Regions of Africa (FORAF) in his capacity as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the election was held after a conference in Casablanca, Morocco, at the weekend.
Receiving a delegation made up of Fayemi, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State at State House on Monday, the President said: “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.”
He also thanked all other countries that queued behind Nigeria to emerge FORAF President, noting that it was a good show of brotherhood and solidarity.
Sule said the conference was well attended by Governors and participants from about 22 African countries, where regional issues were discussed, and memorandum of understanding (MOUs) signed on different areas like agriculture, mining, education, scholarships, and many others.
He added that while Nigeria, from West Africa, clinched the Presidency, Vice Presidents emerged from South Africa, for Southern Africa; Kenya, East Africa; Morocco, Northern Africa; and Cameroon for Central Africa.
Fayemi, who relinquished the Presidency to the next NGF President at the expiration of his tenure in office, said the idea of FORAF was for sub-nationals to become engines of growth, “and reduce pressure on central governments.”
He added that FORAF was a unifying force for States (called Regions, Counties, or Provinces in other countries) “to create a globally respected continent,” submitting that Nigeria’s election was a testimony to the huge respect President Buhari enjoys in Africa.
“Other countries simply withdrew their bids, once they saw that Nigeria was interested in the position,” he disclosed.
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