–As President, APC Governors celebrate Lawan, Gbajabiamila’s NASS leadership victory
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE All Progressives Governors Forum, on Tuesday said that they have not discussed the issue of the ministerial lists with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC Governors said that the matter of a cabinet for Buhari’s second term was purely the President’s decision, adding that he should appoint whosoever he wished.
This is as the President and Governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in a meeting at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, celebrated the victory of the party in the emergence of the National Assembly presiding officers positions.
The anointed candidates of the APC were elected on Tuesday last week for the positions of the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Deputy Speaker of the House which are the four presiding officers positions.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, Atiku Bagudu said that the meeting was to congratulate the President on the party’s victory at the National Assembly election of presiding officers and to thank the President on the various interventions to state governments.
Bagudu, who is the governor of Kebbi state mentioned some of the interventions to include the Paris Club refunds, the budget support fund which is in form of loan and the refund for money expended by states on federal roads.
He said, “This morning (yesterday), Mr. President graciously granted audience to progressive Governors forum. We came to congratulate him on the National Assembly elections and thank him for the confidence he had on the progressive Governors forum members who participated actively in all the processes that led to the emergence of Senator Ahmad Lawan, as Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege as Deputy Senate President, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, as Speaker (House of Representatives) and Hon. Ahmed Wase as Deputy Speaker.
“Furthermore, we used the opportunity to thank Mr. President in all he has been doing and all the successes recorded in the areas which he campaigned upon and by extension our party which are security, economy and accountability.
“We are quite happy with his support for states where close to N2 trillion was given to states in form of restructuring of loans, refunds on federal roads, refund for Paris Club, which has helped encourage economic activities in the states, payment of salaries, payment of pensions, payment of gratuities and overall investment by infrastructural spending.
“We are also appreciative of increased investment in agriculture which has been because of conscious decision to support agriculture as a way out of economic challenges and provide economic growth.
“We also congratulate Mr. President that despite drop in incomes, the value for money that he insists upon has begun to pay off in terms of more security across the country even though some challenges still remain, he is working hard on that with sincerity.
“Last and not the least, we offer to work with Mr. President continuously to ensure that we increase economic performance, security of our country and social cohesion.”
Governor Bagudu further explained that the Progressive Governors Forum used the occasion to thank President Buhari for celebrating the Democracy Day which was in consistent with the promise he made, adding that it was a major element reflective of his democratic ideals in ensuring that an issue which was so important to many Nigerians has been finally addressed in a way.
Asked on the promises he was making to Nigerians as his party, the APC was in total control of leadership at all levels, he said, “Well, we as progressive governors forum will push so that that legislation and cooperation between states and federal government will intensify, we will be more active during investments in all areas that can provide employment and incomes will rapidly increase. We will collaborate more to ensure that security is enhanced particularly when it involves state borders.”
Also asked, if the issue of ministerial list was discussed at the meeting, the Governor simply said, “No. It is an executive decision.
Present at the meeting were Chairman of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum, NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr.Kayode Fayemi, and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, whose colleagues led by Fayemi sang birthday song for him on his 44th birthday.
Others were Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Yobe, Babagana Zulum of Borno, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Bagudu of Kebbi, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Mai-Mala Buni of Yobe, Abdulrahman Abdulrazq of Kwara and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa
Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Abubakar Badaru, Jigawa State, of Borno State, Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Mannir Yakubu Deputy Governor of Katsina, and Hadiza Balaraba Deputy governor of Kaduna.