Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Monday, January 17, 2022, chided the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government over its management of the nation’s vast oil and gas resources.
This is as the governors charged federal lawmakers to save the nation’s democracy by overriding President Buhari’s veto on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, stressing that “an early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.”
The PDP governors who converged in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital, under the aegis of the PDP Governors’ Forum also tasked Nigerians of voting age to brace up to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general elections by registering to kick out the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Lamenting what they called the legion of agonies caused Nigerians by the APC, the governors noted that life was better and more dignified when the PDP held sway at the centre for 16 years, compared with the past six and a half years of Buhari-led government.
In a communique read by the chairman of the forum and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, the PDP governors decried the sorry state of affairs in the land and called on well meaning Nigerians to join hands with the party to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.
The communique read: “The PDP governors noted that the management of our oil and gas resources, the administration of federation account remittances have remained opaque, confusing and non – transparent. In addition, the transition to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Ltd under the Petroleum Industry Act has not been properly streamlined to ensure that the interests of all the tiers of government are protected, consistent with the 1999 constitution.
“The PDP governors request the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill either by overriding Mr President’s veto or deleting areas of complaints. The meeting advised that the option of sustaining Mr President’s veto would lead to a quicker resolution and would deny Mr. President the opportunity to once again truncate a reformed Electoral jurisprudence for Nigeria. An early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.
“The meeting lamented the continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria, the near-collapse of the security situation in Nigeria. The strategies to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, and other criminals is still a major problem of the APC administration.
“The meeting expressed regrets that Mr. President is unwilling, from his recent comments discountenancing the proposals for state policing, to participate in reviewing the structural problems of tackling insecurity in Nigeria and urges Mr President to reconsider his position and consider decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for security agencies.
“The Nigerian economy has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects, and other bad economic indicators.
“In particular, it is clear that the APC government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government. The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world.
“In 2015, under the PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per dollar, it is now under APC almost N500 to a dollar; In 2015, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent under PDP, it is now 33%, one of the highest in the world under APC.
“In 2015, the pump price of petroleum was N87 per litre, it is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt servicing now under APC takes over 98 percent of the federal budget. The tales of woe is endless.
“The meeting urged eligible Nigerians of all walks of life, particularly the youths, to register en masse with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general elections,” and further noted that “the next election is a very consequential election that should be used to end the dominance of very youth unfriendly APC government; a government that had the arrogance to deny Nigerian youths of the use of Twitter, a business-friendly tool for the young, for over a year. The youths should empower themselves to determine who leads them.”
The meeting had in attendance Aminu Tambuwal, Udom Emmanuel, Douye Diri, Samuel Ortom, and Ifeanyi Okowa, governors of Sokoto, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, and Delta states respectively.
Also in attendance were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), and Darius Ishaku of Taraba state.