Wednesday, October 22, 2014 9:59 pm
*Honour former Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi
Governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC, rose from a crucial meeting in Ilorin, Kwara state on Wednesday 22 October, declaring that neither the party nor their forum has endorsed any presidential candidate for next year’s general election.
The chairman of the forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, made this known after the governors’ meeting which lasted over three hours, adding that the forum is not averse to a consensus candidate but pointed out that where such arrangement fails, the party would organise a free and fair presidential primary to elect its candidate.
Okorocha said that the forum also discussed the disturbing dwindling allocation from the federation account to the 36 states of the federation and concluded that most states would not be able to pay their workers salaries unless President Goodluck Jonathan takes urgent steps to redress the situation.
The forum cautioned the presidency against playing politics with issues that affect the lives of Nigerians, saying that the idea of cutting down what goes to the state in terms of revenue does not promote democracy and good governance.
He said: “We don’t know why our counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are not talking on this issue of dwindling revenue allocation to states; may be they are getting something from somewhere, we don’t know.
“President Goodluck Jonathan must take immediate action to redress this ugly situation because most states may not be able to pay workers salaries unless there is an improvement in their revenue from the federation account.”
He assured Nigerians of the preparedness of the APC to provide the long awaited presidential candidate that would deliver Nigerians from its present predicament, adding that the forum “encourages Nigerians to pray for a successful, free and fair general elections in 2015.”
The forum also honored the former governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the meeting which took place at the council’s chambers of Kwara state government house, Ilorin.
Okorocha on behalf of his colleagues saluted the former governor of Ekiti state “for a commendable show of character and a successful tenure in office having handed over the office of the Ekiti state governor on Thursday 16th October, 2014, adding that, “with the achievements you recorded, history cannot say that you were without a purpose. Your humility and show of sportsmanship after the announcement of a result different from what majority of Nigerians expected and would have preferred to be outcome of the June 21, 2014 election leaves us, your brothers and colleagues, in admiration of you.
“JKF, you have shown to the world what it means to be progressive and your conduct, both in and out of office will always be a point of reference so we enjoin you to continue in your good stride, never forgetting your strengths of humility, hard work and steadfastness in fighting for the good of the people and the eventual development of our country Nigeria”
Responding, the elated Fayemi said: “I am elated and full of gratitude for the support and solidarity that you extended to me as a member of this forum and as a former governor of Ekiti state. That I had served as a governor is even a rare privilege but to have served alongside you as a member of this forum is a greater opportunity as a Nigerian. This group has played a critical role in the formation of our party because it was our maiden meeting in Lagos that gave us the name progressive. I shall miss this body greatly”.
Fayemi assured the forum that he would forever remain a progressive, and would continue to make his impact felt in the country, Ekiti state and APC.
The APC governors present at the meeting were the host Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Raufu Aregbesola of Osun state, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state and Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha who is also the chairman of the forum.
Those absent were Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Aliyu Wammakko of Sokoto, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, AbdulAzeez Yari of Zamfara and Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state.