Amaechi and Akpabio are both former governors from the south south region but have since become sworn enemies. While Amaechi, former Rivers governor was the former Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, NGF, Akpabio, ex – governor of Akwa Ibom, was the Chairman of the South south Governors Forum
Both were at loggerheads over political issue, arising from the election of the Governor’s Forum, where Jonah Jang of Plateau state, who is now a Senator too, was championed by some governors to be the winner, which eventually factionalised the forum.
Speaking at the end of the colloquium organised by the Centre for Human Security, brain child of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) the former President urged the two men to sheath their sword and forge ahead as a good friends they were used to be in the past.
The colloquium, the 24th edition was part of the activities to mark the 79th birthday of the Balogun of Owu Kingdom, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo told the two south-south political gladiators, who were also present at the event to forget the past and continue to play prominent roles in moving the nation forward.
He charged them to play an elder statesmen role by coming together, hinted that everybody at the event knew that all is not well between the former old friends. According to him, “I want two of you to forget all what transpired in the past and forger ahead as a good old friend you used to be before.
“Both of you are no more governors, you are not in the sane political parties but holding different positions in the country. You should use your present offices to move the nation forward collectively. “It is high time you reconcile yourselves and forge ahead. You are not getting younger, but older with much responsibility compared to the past.
“Your actions here have clearly shown to everybody that all is not well between you and it must come to an end now,” the former President insisted. Actions of both men at the event informed the open intervention of the former President, who posited that as an elderly person all what ought to be done to ensure that the rift finally settled will be done. Both Amaechi and Akpabio were in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital over the weekend to celebrate the 79th birthday with Obasanjo, but were at distance seats to one another.
As Akpabio was seen avoiding the seat of the Minister, even, when he wanted to exchange pleasantries with another Minister, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu. It was evidently shown at the event that the two south south sons are having scores to settle between themselves.