Says Tambuwal copied PGF Governance template
By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman has reacted to the decision of the Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to set up legal and legislative liaison committees, saying the PGF had since passed the stage of setting up committees.
He said the activities of the APC governors have impacted positively on the PDP Governors’ Forum, whose chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal used to be a member of the APC.
According to him, it was good that the opposition party is now copying the policy template of the PGF.
Lukman who spoke in his personal capacity was reacting to some of the reported resolutions of the PDP Governors Forum at the weekend.
The PDP Governors had on Saturday set up a five-member legal committee under the chairmanship of Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers state. It also set up a legislative liaison committee headed by Gov. Bala Muhammed of Bauchi State.
Reacting to the development, Lukman said; “I will want to wait to see the details of the outcome of the Gov. Wike’s committee work on the basis of which we can engage them.
“I believe personally that PDP governors are only talking about governance issues now as a priority in their consideration likely because as Progressive Governors Forum, we have made a tremendous impact on how the PDP conduct their internal affairs and in a way you can trace that to the fact that the current chairman of the PDP Governors Forum (Tambuwal) was a member of Progressive Governors Forum.
“So, in a way, he has learned something positive on account of his membership in the forum in the past. We do hope that more positive things in terms of how they manage the affairs of PDP would come out of those experiences. However, I think it will be premature to predict what will be the content of what the Wike committee would recommend.
“So, it is better for us to wait and see what they will recommend. I won’t want to preempt them but as PGF, we are far ahead. Towards the end of last year, we inaugurated the steering committee of our legislative committee under the chairmanship of Gov. Aminu Bello Masari. Immediately after that inauguration, there was a meeting between the PGF and leadership of the National Assembly.
“Following that meeting, the steering committee of the PGF legislative committee was expanded beyond the initial two members from the National Assembly to now include about eight members which include the two leaders of the National Assembly.
“We have had series of meetings and a technical committee was set up and on the basis of the work of that technical committee, we reviewed the report of the Gov. Nasir El-Rufai Committee on True Federalism and some priority issues were identified and presented to our legislative committee which was adopted and now pending deliberations by the APC Governors Forum.
“Once the forum decides, the next level would be engagement with the National Assembly because those are issues that bother on a constitutional amendment. It is beyond just electoral matters. It covers even contentious issues around resource control, true federalism, and others. So, our governors are way ahead and I thought I should make that very clear.”
On PDP’s call for free, fair, and credible elections in Edo and Ondo states, the Lukman said the APC has never shied away from allowing elections to be truly competitive.
“I think we should welcome that PDP is talking and interested in a free and fair election. And we do hope that it is really what is behind their agitation. My position is that it is a work in progress and whether anybody likes it or not, we have made qualitative improvement as a nation from a situation where election results can be predicted long before the actual election based on the choices of people especially the ruling of the president. That had been the case under the PDP. Now, it is no longer the case. The evidence is there. In almost all the places we contested elections, whereas a ruling party we won, we won by a margin which shows that contest took place. That was not the case under the PDP.”
He said it would be disheartening for the PDP to think that APC would act the same way PDP would have acted were it to be in power at the centre.