By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA—As Nigerians celebrate Christmas today, governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have asked Nigerians to be ready to seize the opportunity provided by the party to liberate themselves from the crises plaguing the nation.
The governors under the aegis of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, said that given the inability of the ruling party to solve the myriad of challenges facing the nation, it was important for them to rise up and work with the APC to move the nation forward.
The PGF said in a statement made available to Vanguard in Abuja that as Nigerians come to the end of the year, it was imperative for them to reflect on the way forward for the nation and team up with the APC to advance the cause of the nation at all times.
The forum said: “As we come to the end of another turbulent year, marked by growing insecurity, worsening poverty and the creeping dictatorship and intolerance in the country, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) wishes to express its solidarity with the Nigerian people and commend their patience, resilience and dogged resistance in the face of a federal government that has lost touch with the dreams and aspirations of citizens.
“We gladly observe that even as 2013 recedes into the annals of history as one of the worst years in Nigeria’s history, a few developments point to the fact that a new hope is emerging on the horizon, notably the merger of opposition parties and the growing commitment of progressives and patriotic political leaders to unite under the
All Progressives Congress (APC) with the single-minded determination of rescuing Nigeria.
“There is no doubt that the merger of opposition parties today represents a major source of hope for the nation and our people are full of expectations that our party, APC, its leadership, elected representatives and governments will take the right step and measures to move the country away from all the multitudes of crises, halt the current movement towards collapse, restore the credibility of institutions of governance at all levels and respect and recognize the value of the human person. This demands that all political leaders in the country must be ready to make sacrifices.
Commends APC leaders
“We therefore wish to acknowledge and commend our party (APC) leadership for demonstrating high resolve to set aside all their personal positions and aspirations in order to provide the needed leadership to unite all Nigerian progressives. As Progressive Governors, we are proud of the achievements of our party and will continue to support our leaders towards rescuing our dear nation, Nigeria.
“Against the background of today’s federal government that steers the affairs of the nation based on convenience rather than constitutionality, Nigerians have been reduced to helpless observers of a presidency that is only efficient in weakening its moral authority, making it difficult to relate with other levels and tiers of government in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“The hard and incomprehensible reality is that the Presidency, federal government and ruling PDP have become reckless, dishonest and completely insensitive to minimum requirement of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians. Government, as far as the conduct of the federal government shows, is all about the political aspirations of functionaries of government, notably Mr. President.
“This is unfortunate and the consequence is the increasing wave of both intra-party and wider national political crises without any visible demonstration of capacity by the federal government and the ruling party to manage or resolve the crises.
“Given the severity and intensity of the crises facing our dear nation, it is clear that rescuing Nigeria will have to commence with a strong commitment to a national agenda of reconciliation in order to resolve grievances of citizens and bring forth a clear roadmap for nation building founded on respect for our diversities.
“Such a commitment should be founded on the principles of acknowledging deep-seated anger of citizens and recognizing that it is in the first place a product of injustices over years of bad governance. As a result, governments at all levels at different times have infringed on the rights and liberties of citizens.”
“In 2014, we shall take all the necessary steps to roll out programmes that will facilitate development of synergy, experience sharing and collaboration by all progressive states.”