By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—NEWLY elected Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State yesterday said yesterday governors would not shy away from criticizing the Federal Government and the Presidency constructively.
This came as President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, congratulated Fayemi for his election on Wednesday in Abuja.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State emerged as the new chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Wednesday night to serve a three year term from June 2019-2021.
Fayemi, who was elected through consensus, was nominated by Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-rufai, and was seconded by Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, was also elected the new deputy chairman of the forum and was nominated by Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. He was seconded by Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, NGF forum chairman, Abdulaziz Yari, said the new leaders emerged through consensus and were unanimously elected by the 36 state governors.
Fayemi, in his acceptance speech, said as state chief executive officers, governors would strive to lobby, engage and use all means within the ambit of the law to influence policies.
On his vision for the future as NGF chairman, Fayemi said among others: “As we celebrate the past, we also look to the future with hope and faith.
‘’We look to a future in which the NGF would continue to advance our goals and objectives as a unified platform – where the leadership continues to be accountable; where every governor continues to have an equal voice, and where the democratic principles of broad-based consultation and consensus building are practiced in reaching key decisions.
We look forward to an NGF that would continue to build on the very cordial relationship we have with the Presidency and other arms of government at all levels, but would not shirk in our responsibility to constructively criticise, engage, lobby, and invariably use all means within the ambit of the law to influence the nature of laws and policies so that they have greater positive impact on the citizenry, and lead to greater peace and harmony in our great country.”
Buhari congratulates Fayemi
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Mr. Fayemi on his emergence as the Chairman of NGF.
The President, in a statement by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said Fayemi’s choice by consensus indicated the degree of confidence in him by his colleagues.
He urged the new chairman to see the election as a unique opportunity to forge a harmonious and fruitful working relationship with the Federal Government and other tiers of government.
“The focal objective of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at all times ought to be the higher interest of the people of this country above partisan, political, religious or regional differences,” he said.
Buhari said the Federal Government would continue to support the Forum in its laudable objectives.
NGF under Fayemi will support Buhari — APC
Similarly, APC while congratulating Fayemi, said NGF under Fayemi will support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in delivering good governance to Nigerians.
Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, said NGF’s unanimous election of Fayemi on Wednesday night to lead it till 2021 was indeed a right choice.
He said: “We are confident that NGF under Fayemi’s leadership will continue in this best practice by cooperating with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in delivering on the change agenda for Nigerians.”