Governors elected under 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 could become a failed state.
According to a statement issued by Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, the PDP governors expressed deep concern about the deteriorating relations between various ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The governors noted that the country’s fault lines and differences were being stretched to the limit by the current administration, saying that it clearly lacks the capacity to govern.
The governors met under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum in Makurdi, Benue State, yesterday, to review the state of affairs in the country and common developments in their states.
Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, 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 was in dire need of leadership at the federal level to avert a 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. While noting that governors have a role to play in the handling of some of the worsening situations, they regret 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,” Tambuwal said.
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 has become imperative and timely now, adding that Nigeria could not afford another civil war.
The governors charged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to send a new Revenue Allocation Formula that allocates more resources to states and local governments to President Muhammadu Buhari for National Assembly’s action.
They noted that it was a scandal that 21 years after the 1999 Constitution came into being, no new revenue formula was in place. Furthermore, the governors called for a more transparent and accountable running and operation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The PDP governors further condemned the alleged 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,” they alleged.
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. 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,” they added.
They added that PDP governors were distressed that Nigeria has officially become the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world at 33 per cent and the second-highest poverty rate in the world under the leadership of APC.
Present at the meeting were Governors Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State; Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde of Oyo State; Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba State and Ahmed Fintiri of Adamawa State.
Also present were Governors Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State; Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; Douye Diri of Bayelsa State; Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Baba Tela, who represented his governor.