The Northern States Governors (NGSF) meeting which held in Kaduna on Monday succeeded in posting the picture of regional unity.
The apparent seamless interactions, photo ops, group lunch, dinner and other meetings as well as lining up behind one another for briefings created a perfect scene of camaraderie among the 19 governors.
But a deeper look at the event, would expose all the niceties guffaw and back slapping as managed stunts to cover up big sores.
In the real sense of it, the event is only similar to Rome’s Capitol on the evening of the ides of March when Caesar was chaperoned into a seeming cosy ambiance only for him to be stabbed at the back by friends and associates.
The same way that Julius Caesar was betrayed by close friends and associates who conspired against him was the same the governors who converged on Kaduna on the 23rd and 24th had daggers concealed under their white shiny robes.
And from all indications most would not have hesitated to pull out the concealed weapon and drive into the heart of one another if only a situation with a perfect alibi had presented itself.
Or better still, because 2019 is still far away.
At the NGSF meeting were no less than five governors who have presidential ambitions.
All the five are deeply suspicious of every move made by one another and would do anything to undermine the other person just to enhance their own chances.
Closely related to this but to a great extent detachable are those who are just not comfortable with the domineering personalities of others and would have preferred that the klieg lights beam on them alone.
It is no longer a secret that second term governors like Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, who is the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, his colleague in Bormo, Kashim Shettima who is the chairman of the Northern State Governors Forum as well as Ibrahim Hassan DanKwambo of Gombe all have presidential ambitions.
Others with similar ambitions who are in their first terms but with equal desperation are Nasir el- Rufai of kaduna and Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto.
At the meeting, held together with traditional rulers from the region, one could hardly detect the conflict of interest as each governor tried hard to be politically correct.
Though a great number of them belong to the APC, their allegiance to the different camps within the party intensify these rivalries.
El-Rufai of Kaduna for instance tries to sell himself as not just belonging to the Buhari camp but as the closest to Buhari. This does not sit well with many of the governors who see that as a ploy to undermine them.
The claim is subtle being challenged by the likes of the Zamfara governor who until lately tried everything possible to get a better mileage in the heart of the president ahead of the El-Rufai.
As it is, Yari seems to have let go the desperation to be in the Buhari camp.
Others like Tambuwal however are well known to be with Tinubu and his claim to the presidency lies both in his national acceptance and belief that he would have won the APC presidential ticket if he had not stepped down for Buhari.
He views every move by El-Rufai as mere opportunism and an affront to the sacrifice he made for the party.
Kwara’s Abdulfatah Ahmed on the other hand is one hundred percent pro Saraki and by extension belongs to the Atiku Abubakar political camp.
Lalong of Plateau is trying hard to beat the minister of sports, Solomon Dalung to be the closest person to Buhari but his loyalty is conditioned by how well his godfather, Amaechi is able to manage the relationship with Buhari.
There is also the issue of those not considered north enough and who are hardly in the picture of what is really going when such meetings hold.
They include the likes of the Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku and his counterparts in Benue and Plateau who are merely figures to give credibility to predetermined positions.
Kwara and Kogi are stand alone cases as they do not fit within the two other blocs.
Taraba too has another peculiar plight as it is the only PDP State in the entire north, hence cannot be trusted.
Hence the meeting that held in Kaduna is only high on pretence which outcome cannot go beyond mere platitudes.