Abiodun is succeeding the former governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, who died last year December.

16 governors were in attendance except the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Siminalayi Fubara.

The governors in attendance were Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Seyi Makinde, Oyo State, Alex Otii of Abia State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Ademola Adeleke of Osun state, Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi state, Enugu’s Peter Mbah, Bayelsa’s Douye Diri and Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State.

Others include Ekiti State’s Biodun Oyebanji, Cross River’s Bassey Otu, Anambra’s Charles Soludo, Imo State deputy governor, Chinyere Ekomaru, Delta State deputy governor, Monday Onyeme, and Ondo State deputy governor, Olayide Adelami.

The governors held a closed-door meeting that lasted about five hours at the Presidential Lodge in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Abiodun, while briefing newsmen after the meeting, described his choice as the next Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum alongside Prof Soludo as an honour he would forever appreciate and, of course, encourage him to continue to contribute to national development.

He said, “I first want to thank all the Governors, the 17 Governors, for coming to Abeokuta today for this first meeting after about three years. It underscores the commitment and the determination to ensure that the Southern States are occupied by their pride of place.

“I also want to thank them for this confidence, so I reposed in myself and Professor Soludo and pledged that we would ensure this confidence was justified.

“We have discussed a whole ranging number of issues but because of time constraints, Governor Soludo and I will be available to you pressmen the details of our communique that reflects our aspirations, our determination and the new and repositioned southern governor’s forum