Former Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan and ex Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday advised governors of the 36 states of Nigeria to come together to devise solution to the multiple challenges facing the country.
The two leaders advised the governors to stop looking up to President Muhammadu Buhari for solutions to the challenges confronting the country.
According to them, the real power to effect changes lies with the state chief executives because without them, no one can become the President.
Speaking to journalists in Benin, the capital of Edo State, former President Jonathan affirmed that the Nigeria Governors Forum remains the best platform to discuss issues affecting Nigeria.
The former President, who said the antagonism between governors was uncalled for stressed that the coming together of all the state chief executives in a round table to discuss and proffer solutions to issues affecting Nigeria would help the President.
“Governors themselves should continue to meet, I don’t really love a situation where the Northern governors will meet then the Southern governors will cry foul.
“Then the Southern governors will meet then the Northern governors will cry foul, that will not help our country.
“The governors through the governors forum should meet, they are the people who run this country, the President is just one person in Abuja.
“The states, especially in a country where the local governments are very weak, it’s the states that people fall back to.
“So if the governors of the states meet and dialogue, interrogate things that are good for this country, then we will move forward.
“I don’t really enjoy the antagonism between governors, they should come together and discuss.
“If there are issues that is affecting one or two states, I think the governors should see how they can collectively come with a way to address those issues,” he added.
Speaking in the same vein, Abubakar, in a statement he issued in Abuja, called on Nigerian Governors to stop waiting on Abuja to make changes.
Instead, he advised them to convene a National Unity Summit of all Nigerian Governors to iron out the thorny issues affecting the destiny of the nation until they figure out a way to resolve them.
He said the country’s present challenges called for concentration and not fragmentation.
“We must concentrate and focus our national willpower and resolve towards fighting these unNigerian tendencies.
“Governors representing some states have met. And I completely understand the necessity of their meeting and the wisdom of their decisions.
“But no matter how much you try to clap with one hand, the vibrations will not be the same as when you clap with two hands.
“We have a national challenge. And as Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Abubakar said that those problems were created by those with a regional mindset, and would not be solved by those with a similar mindset.
“For too long, we have erroneously thought that the power to make effective changes lies at Aso Rock.
“But without the states, nobody can get to Aso Rock. That is why for anyone to emerge as President of Nigeria, he or she must secure enough votes in two-thirds of the states that make up the Nigerian federation.
“Let us apply this wisdom to our present challenges.”
“Forget about your party. Forget about your tribe. Respect your religion and allow it to bring out the better part of you.
“Meet together. Talk together. Come up with the solutions to all our collective challenges.
“And then go back to your states, and consult with your federal and state legislators, with a view to getting them to work with their colleagues to implement the solutions you came up with.
“That is how to save Nigeria.”
He said that according to Einstein: “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.”
Abubakar said that Nigerians did know that the governors knew that all is not well with Nigeria.
He said that was why they had been meeting, at regional and sub regional levels.
“That knowledge comes with a duty to act, and to act together. Because if we do not act together, then the alternative is that we fall asunder. And God forbid that should never be our fate.”
Abubakar said the country must be mindful of the fact that one in four Africans is a Nigerian, one in seven Black people on Earth is Nigerian.
“Therefore, being so centrally placed by God, it ought to be clear to us that it is our duty to be a beacon of light to the Black World.
“If we succeed as a nation, our successes will resonate beyond our borders.
“It will give hope to the Black Diaspora and increase the standing of Black people all over the world.
“That is why we cannot fail. That is why we cannot retreat into our regional enclaves.
“Too much is at stake. We are too centrally located to be dislocated. Together we must win forever.”
He said that Nigerians were far too interconnected to be disconnected.
“Where would my children, who have a parent from each leg of Nigeria go? Where would your children, who have sunk roots far from their ancestral heritage go?”