There should be restructuring now to avert civil war: PDP Governors
•PDP Governors in Makurdi for their meeting . . . Friday
Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from their meeting in Makurdi, Benue State, on Friday, calling for the devolution of power and restructuring of the country as a way to avert another civil war.
Meeting on the platform of the PDP Governors Forum in the Banquet Hall of the Benue State Government House, they posited in a communique issued at the end of the session that the country is drifting at an alarming rate that could lead it to a failed state if not checked.
Chairman of the forum and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, read the communique in which the governors also expressed concern and alarm at the deteriorating relations among various groups in Nigeria.
They said that they are worried that “indeed, all our fault lines and differences are being stretched to the limit by a government that clearly lacks the capacity to govern. The meeting agreed that this has given rise to ethnic and tribal tensions, religious divisions and various forms of social and political cleavages.
The governors concluded that Nigeria is in dire need of leadership at the federal level to avert the looming disaster.
They also expressed concern that security of lives and property of Nigerians is 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 regretted that “their hands are tied behind their backs as the entire coercive authority in the country is monopolised by the APC federal government.”
The governors therefore stressed the need to take advantage of the ongoing constitution amendment process to decentralise the security architecture of Nigeria and involve states and local governments.
The communique added: “Consequently, 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.
“We call on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to send a new revenue allocation formula that allocates more resources to states and local governments to the president for National Assembly's action. It is a scandal that 21 years after the 1999 Constitution came into being, no new revenue formula is in place.
“Furthermore, the meeting called for a more transparent and accountable running and operation of the NNPC.”
On the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) attitude, the PDP state chief executives condemned the intimidation of opposition sitting governors by the ruling party by 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.
The communique added: “We significantly condemn the double standard that are applied by the APC-led Federal Government to intimidate PDP-controlled states.
“To this end, we call on the 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 meeting noted that the APC has been unable to even have a democratically-elected National Executive Committee as required by the constitution.
“A political party that operates by military fiat with an appointed and unelected executive committee at all levels from ward to national has no business running the affairs of our 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 is also a 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,” the communique added.
The governors were distressed that Nigeria is now officially the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world at 33 per cent under the disastrous leadership of APC, noting that this is following on the heels of yet another feat of being the country with the second highest poverty rate in the world.
“For APC, it is indeed a race to the bottom,” the governors declared.
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.”
They 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 also in the entire North-Central zone.”
•Text (excluding headline): Nigerian Tribune