Saturday, April 10, 2021 8:59 am
By Okafor Ofiebor
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have warned that if the alarming drift of Nigeria under the watch of the All Progressives Congress, APC, government continues, the country will become a failed state.
They expressed deep concern and alarm at the deteriorating relations between various groups in Nigeria, even as all the country’s fault lines and differences are being stretched to the limit by the APC government that clearly lacks the capacity to govern.
The governors under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, met in Makurdi, Benue State on Friday, to review the state of affairs in the country and common developments in their states.
Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum cum Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who read the communiqué issued at the end of their meeting observed that due to the rise in ethnic and tribal tensions, religious divisions, and various forms of social and political cleavages, Nigeria is in dire need of leadership at the Federal level to avert the looming disaster.
“The meeting was similarly alarmed that security of lives and property of Nigerians are no longer guaranteed under the present government as a result of leadership incompetence and mismanagement of the nation’s affairs, noting that Governors have a role to play in the handling of some of the worsening situations.
They regret that their hands are tied behind their backs as the entire coercive authority in the country is monopolised by the APC federal government.
“Time has come to take advantage of the ongoing Constitution Amendment process to decentralise the security architecture of Nigeria and involve States and Local Governments.”
He explained that the Governors reaffirmed their conviction that an urgent devolution of powers and restructuring of the country in a way that brings together various groups and tendencies in the country appears to have become imperative and timely now as Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.
The governors charged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to send a new Revenue Allocation Formular that allocates more resources to States and Local Governments to President Muhammad Buhari for National Assembly’s action.
They noted that it is a scandal that 21 years after the 1999 Constitution came into being, no new Revenue Formular is in place. Furthermore, the governors called for a more transparent and accountable running and operation of the NNPC.
He said PDP governors further condemned the intimidation of their incumbent colleagues by the APC administration using all sorts of weapons like security agencies, unequal access to federal resources, promotion of divisions in the opposition political parties with fake promises and falsehoods.
“We significantly condemn the double standards that are applied by the APC-led federal government to intimidate PDP controlled states. To this end, we call on Mr. President to lift the so called “No flight Zone” and other intimidating tactics, imposed on Zamfara State as similar measures have not been extended to similar states with security challenges like Kaduna, Borno, Katsina, Yobe and others. This is mostly politically motivated to ensure that the Governors move over to APC.”
The PDP governors took a swipe at the APC for being unable to have a democratically-elected National Executive Committee as required by the Nigerian Constitution. According to them, a political party that operates by military fiat with an appointed and unelected Executive Committee from ward to national has no business running the affairs of the country.
“APC cannot deliver democracy to Nigeria; even to constitute a Board of Trustees has been an impossible task for the party since inception. It further expressed surprise that the APC is interested in playing politics and jockeying for power in 2023, when they have done an abysmal and terribly poor job of their current questionable mandate.”
Tambuwal said PDP Governors were distressed that Nigeria is now officially the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world at 33% and second highest poverty rate in the world under the disastrous leadership of APC.
The meeting received briefings from the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, and Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, and assured Nigerians that help is on the way as the PDP is primed to offer effective leadership come 2023.
The meeting commended the Governors of PDP-controlled states for their innovative approaches to governance in many fields especially infrastructure, education, health, women and youth initiatives and the timely delivery of developmental projects, across the country.
“It is these legacy projects being undertaken in many PDP-governed states that will be presented to Nigerians as our scorecard at the appropriate time.”
The PDP governors thanked Governor Samuel Ortom for hosting the first meeting of the PDP Governors in recent times outside Abuja and for holding the Party together not only in Benue State but in the entire North Central Zone.
Present at the meeting were the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike; Governor of Oyo State, Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde; Governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku; Governor of Adamawa State, Rt Hon Ahmed Fintiri.
Also present were the Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom; Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa; Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Enugu State Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi ; Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki and the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Baba Tela represented his governor.