By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Twenty Four governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC have blamed the current wave of separatist agitation on weak governance as provided across the different tiers of government.

SYMPATHY VISIT—From left: Rochas Okorocha of Imo; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Kashim Shettima of Borno State, during a sympathy visit to the Enugu State Governor, by his colleagues, over the recent attack by herdsmen, in Enugu, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

The governors under the aegis of Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF also blamed the dwindling fortunes of the economy as well as poor law enforcement mechanisms for the agitations.

In a statement issued Thursday in Abuja, and signed by the Director General of the PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman, the APC governors also called on separatist groups in the country to refrain from making further inciting comments.

“In line with the social democratic principles of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the PGF promotes all-inclusive government, for the development of policies and programs that improve the life of every Nigerian citizen, regardless of ethnicity and religious orientation. It is with this in mind that the Forum condemns in the strongest terms the present secessionist and separatist agitations promoting ethno-regional identity in the country. These sundry factional groups, claiming to represent different ethnic nationalities, sow seeds of disunity and promote secessionist agenda in the nation. We decry and reject their activities in all intents and purposes. 

“Acknowledging the rich diverse heritage of Nigeria as a country, the PGF particularly notes that the resurgence of desperate youth groups promoting ethno-regional identities and extremist positions from the different geo-political zones across the nation as currently experienced is a reflection of prevalent weak governance, economy and law enforcement system in Nigeria”, the governors stated.

They noted that the challenge before Nigerians therefore is to commit themselves to the unity of the country.

“We must create by all means necessary, a country that we can collectively call our home, irrespective of tongue and locality. This is a vision the APC as a party is committed to lead and for which the PGF is unapologetically and intrinsically loyal. These threats to national unity must cease totally and put away into history. 

“While acknowledging that as a nation, we do have challenges, PGF believes that the resolution of those challenges rests with the development of our democracy and with it, the ascendancy of structured processes of national consultations, negotiations and invariably, agreements. As Governors elected under APC, we will work with our party leaders, the Federal Government and all Nigerians who are committed to democratic development of all parts of the country to ensure unencumbered protection of lives of all citizens in every part of the territorial boundary of our nation. 

“PGF therefore call for the rise of all Decent Voices across this country to speak up against the upsurge of some desperate irredentist movements across all ethnic groups and support the emergence of a stronger and virile unified Nigeria for us all. The Forum insists that, regardless of our diverse identities and whatever differences, Nigeria has to thrive. Hence, there has to be a nation first”, they submitted.

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