Governors from 14 states in northern Nigeria have postponed the inaugural meeting of the proposed Association of Inland Basin States scheduled for Minna, the Niger State capital as a fallout of the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, in his capacity as chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, had asked his colleagues in 13 others states to delegate their commissioners to attend the inaugural meeting of the proposed Inland Basin States Association meeting which was to fashion out a plan for oil exploration activities in north.
However, the meeting was postponed on Tuesday following what is believed to be information that the PDP chairman, Bamanga Tukur, may have directed governors of states loyal to his faction of the ruling party not to send representatives to the event.
The 14 states billed to attend the meeting were Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kebbi, Kogi,Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara states.
At least eight of them comprising Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, Kebbi, Taraba, Yobe and Plateau state are believed to be loyal to Tukur and might have received instructions not to attend.
Before the meeting was cancelled, the Niger State government had spent a lot on planning and preparation, with logistics already provided for the influx of government officials from other states
The cancellation of the meeting was announced Wednesday in a statement by the chief press secretary to the governor, Danladi Ndayebo, who said a new date for the event would be fixed later.
It is speculated that many of the states in the north are rich in petroleum resources but this has never been verified.
Only recently Kwara state announced that that it had crude oil in commercial quantity in Irepodunlocal government of the state but the claim was controverted by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
Before politics put it asunder, the Association of Inland Basin States’ meeting was to provide a platform for all the affected states to, for the first time, articulate modalities for realistically tapping the resources believed to be abundant in the Sokoto, Chad basin and Bida basin as well as the Benue Trough.