All Progressives Congress, APC, governors under its banner, Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, on Wednesday in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, decried the dip in the federal monthly allocations to states. The governors implied it might have been politicised and contrived against them, especially as their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are mute on the financial crunch. “We refuse to accept the fact that this nation is broke and thank God that the Federal Government has confirmed that the nation is not broke. If the nation is not broke, what is due to states should be given to states,” said Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Okorocha, who is the forum’s chairman wondered “why our colleagues in the PDP are not talking of this matter. If they are not talking, it is either they are not affected or somehow they are getting something from the back door which we do not know.”
He added: “This issue has become a very serious concern to us as governors and we felt that issues that affect the lives of our people must never be politicised.
“This idea of cutting what should go to states does not in any way promote democracy and democratic dividends. And so, we as progressive governors, call on the Federal Government to look into the issue of dwindling resources and convince us why the states should not get what is due to them.
Okorocha said opposition governors would meet with President Goodluck Jonathan, and urged him to “act quickly to quell…this terrible condition of dwindling resources by making sure that the states get what is due to them, at least to pay salaries of their workers.”
He also spoke on the consensus method promoted by the party to choose its presidential candidate.
Okorocha explained that “Our forum is in full support of consensus as one of the ways to produce our presidential candidate or any candidate in the party as long as it is done with respect to internal democracy.
“There will be no imposition of candidate in our party. Our forum has not adopted any candidate but we shall encourage consensus and dialogue within the leadership of the party and aspirants to see how we come up with a candidate. But where that is not possible, like true progressives, we shall have free and fair primaries.” He stressed the forum would ensure internal democracy thrived in the party.
Apart from Okorocha, Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Ishaq Ajimobi (Oyo) attended the meeting. Others are Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), former Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The governors lauded Fayemi’s achievement in office, stating that the people’s voice in a democracy is sacrosanct.
Lauding Fayemi, Okorocha said: “You had great vision for the state with the achievements you recorded, history cannot say that you were without a purpose. Your humility and display 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.
“In a free and fair democratic system, the voice of the people is sacrosanct. It is the thrust on which the foundation of good governance, transparency and accountability is built. It is a voice that must be respected. But whether the voice that supposedly spoke on the election day is really the voice of the people is another matter. The people of Ekiti, whom you served so well and so honourably, will live to tell. Needless to say that you have carved your name in gold in the annals of Ekiti State, in our great party and the political history of Nigeria.
Fayemi expressed gratitude to his colleagues.