Governors elected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have told President Bola Tinubu to work in concert with the states to produce lasting solutions to the nation's economic and security problems.
Rising from a meeting under the PDP Governors Forum on Monday in Abuja, they expressed concern over the hardships faced by Nigerians as a result of the twin problems of insecurity and economic crisis.
Reading a statement issued at the end of the meeting organized by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the governors lamented the free fall in the value of the naira and called for measures to arrest the trend.
They pledged to continue playing their role in the effort to bring security and relief to the people.
The PDP GF reiterated its demand that the state police effectively deal with the myriad of security challenges facing the subnational.
They supported the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), led by the acting national chairman, Iliya Damangun, and urged the national leadership to set in motion the necessary mechanism to convene meetings of the party organs, including the National Executive Committee (NEC ). As soon as possible.
The statement read in part: “The meeting reviewed the State of the Nation and noted the difficulties faced by Nigerians as a result of the economic and security challenges facing the nation.
“The Forum, consequently, urges the Federal Government to urgently embark on initiatives involving all subnational governments to bring about a lasting solution to the crises.
“PDP Governors will continue to play their role in the effort to bring security and relief to our people.
“To this end, we reiterate our call on the State Police with adequate safeguards to prevent any abuse or overreach by any level of government.
“The Forum lamented the fall in the value of the Naira and requested the monetary and fiscal authorities to find appropriate solutions.
“The meeting further reviewed recent developments in the Peoples Democratic Party and committed to leading efforts to renew and reposition the party to serve as an effective opposition to the ruling Party in Nigeria.
“Furthermore, the Forum approved a vote of confidence in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party, led by Iliya Damagum, and urged it to set in motion the mechanism to convene meetings of the appropriate organs of the party – from Caucus to Committee National Executive. (NEC) as quickly as possible.”
Responding to questions after delivering the statement, Governor Mohammed rejected the suggestion that the main opposition leader has lost his voice amid the country's growing difficulties.
He warned that although the party supported the removal of oil subsidies, the naira's free fall has put the country on the path of Venezuela, in reference to the South American country's never-ending economic problems.
He said the PDP continued to play its opposition role without being insulting.
The Bauchi governor explained: “The PDP is the most democratic party, the most experienced party in the country. We were at the seat of governance and Nigerians took the decision to bring the APC to the center and we respected their sensitivity and Nigerians' sense of judgment.
“What we are doing is positively criticizing the federal government’s unsavory policies.
“But at the beginning of this administration we supported the removal of subsidies, we believed there were safeguards, we believed that if we made collective decisions, we should follow them.
“But we have certainly seen that it is a freefall for the naira. The cost of living is rising, we are almost on our way to Venezuela.
“So we are giving concrete opposition, but not insulting anyone. But ultimately, the decision rests squarely with Nigerians and other agencies in the country to ensure that we do things that bring relief to all of us.”
However, he said, states are working with the federal government on increasing the cost of living, saying, “We have been working closely with the federal government since the beginning of this administration. The increase in the cost of living is not just the responsibility of the federal government. We have partnered with them to ensure we do not cause any distractions, but monetary and economic policies fall directly to the federal government.
“The majority of Nigerians voted in favor of this administration, so we are doing a lot across party lines and on a bipartisan basis, at the Nigerian governors' forum, at the National Economic Council, to ensure that we cushion the effects of some of these policies.
“We have reached out to our people and opened up the food reserves in a way that will provide some relief to our people at the lowest level.”
In the upcoming Edo State gubernatorial election, the said PDP governors are determined to ensure the victory of the party, which, according to him, has no crisis in the state.
“We 100 percent support Edo and you can see there is no bad blood, there is no division and we are very supportive of the National Working Committee, the state chapter of the party and indeed the governor to ensure that we come together in unison to produce a successor to the most respected oldest governor in the governors forum,” he declared.
Governors who attended the meeting include Mohammed (Chairman), Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State (Vice Chairman), Makinde of Oyo State (Host), Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa State), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau State), Dauda Lawal (Zamfara State), Kefas Agbu (Taraba State), Godwin Obaseki (Edo State); Rep. Governor Ifeanyi Ossai (Enugu State) and Rep. Governor Monday John Onyeme (Delta State).