As Nigerians wag their tongues over Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s absence from a high level PDP meeting attended by 11 of its governors which held Monday in Yenagoa, the PDP-GF has stepped forth with an explanation designed to put an end to growing speculation.

Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, is the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum. But on Monday when his colleagues gathered, he was not there.

While some skeptics are alleging that Tambuwal’s absence might indeed be due to a deepening rift between him and his Rivers counterpart, Governor Nyesom Wike, the PDP GF says his conspicuous absence at the meeting was due to the death of Alhaji Hassan Danbaba.

Cyril Maduabum, Director General of the Forum, explained that the death of Alhaji Danbaba, Magajin Garin Sokoto and grandson of Sardauna, Sir Ahmadu Bello was behind the Governor’s inability to attend the Bayelsa meeting.

With “dignitaries coming to Sokoto for condolence visits” it was practically impossible for “Governor Tambuwal to leave the seat of the caliphate as the time the meeting was holding”, Maduabum noted.

The Director General dismissed claims that the chairman of the forum had declined attending the meeting because of a widening gulf between him and other PDP Governors, including Wike.

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“There is no truth in that insinuation. The PDP Governors’ Forum is intact and the relationship between the members is very cordial… They are all working together to enthrone a new order in Nigeria through the PDP.

Insisting that “There is no way Governor Tambuwal could have left Sokoto at the time the meeting was taking place in Yenagoa” Maduabum quickly stressed, “It was a matter of courtesy that he stays back in the state to receive numerous personalities” who were visiting the state to pay their condolences.

He further declared, “The vice-chairman of the forum, His Excellency, the Governor of Abia State, who presided over the meeting performed excellently well.

“He was in constant touch with the chairman, His Excellency, the Governor of Sokoto State, even as the meeting was going on.”

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa played host to the PDP who assembled in his State to discuss matters of national interest such as the state of insecurity.

The meeting also coincided with the second year anniversary of his administration.