As Uzodinma emerges PGF Chair
Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
In what appeared like a mini induction for its governors on Wednesday, the National Working Committee NWC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has cautioned them against operating outside the party manifesto, warning that the consequences of such indiscretions would be solely borne by the states chief executives.
National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu handed down the warning at a consultative meeting with the governors held at the ‘Buhari House’ national secretariat of the party.
Some of the governors at the meeting were those of Imo and newly-elected chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Hope Uzodinma; Yobe, Mai Mala Buni; Kogi, Yahaya Bello; Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule; Niger, Mohammed Umar Bago; Kaduna, Uba Sani; Gombe, Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya; and Kebbi, Nasir Idris.
Addressing the governors shortly before the meeting went into a closed session, Adamu said the party hierarchy would however give them a free hand, urging them to report any party official who stands in their way.
He said; “For us, anything that we will want to say to you is adherence to the manifesto as much as you can. We have a general framework for the governance of the country and you represent those who fly the flag of the party and it is expected that whatever you do, you will have in mind the manifesto that the party gives the country.
“You as the Chief Executive Officers of the states must key into this manifesto but there are peculiarities, there are priorities you must have set and you are bound to do as much as you can to meet the expectations of those who voted for us.
“We are in a very difficult moment and you have come at a very difficult period. Even with the timing so, of the lifting of the fuel subsidy, this is going to be very specially challenging to us, particularly to you because you are where it matters most. From national politics, you are the shock absorbers in the various states of the federation. You live with the people. You wake up with the people and you work with them. The expectation is that you could have a better appreciation of their pains as citizens of this country. So, a lot of expectations will be on you as governors of the federating units of this great country.
“As far as the party is concerned, we will give you every cooperation you need. If you have any problem, turn to us and we will give you the best advice as we can. But whatever we do with you, you are the one wearing the shoes and know where it pinches.
“Two years are for actual governance. Before you know, you will finish with the tribunals, it will be getting to two years and you will start seeing posters and billboards flying, newspaper publications. This is a tradition in our democracy, fortunately or unfortunately. We must be ready for that. So, you have no time to waste.
“Fortunately, you are lucky to have a president who will listen to you. He has come with the same urge, the same desire to deliver. So, you are lucky. But whatever you do, do not forget that you will bear your cross. You will bear your cross. We will not as a party stand in your way for a good programme. If someone does so, please draw our attention so that we will stop it”.
On his part, Uzodinma who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said the progressive governors would cooperate fully with the party to achieve set targets.
He said; “There is no doubt that Progressive Governors Forum has been in place before this time and there is no doubt that we are loyal members of our great party.
“I want to assure you that the APC governors understand very clearly that the government each of us are presiding over belongs to the party and we know both at the federal and sub-national levels, the government belongs to APC, it is APC-led government.
“Under my watch, we will be very close to the party. The purpose of the forum is to add impetus to the activities of the party and the government. We are only going to act as salesmen who will market the policies and programmes of government.
“Arising from the manifesto promised to the people before the election, I can assure that you had a team and working together with the kind of men I have seen as Progressive Governors, I think we have gotten all it would take to ensure that policies of our government are fully marketed.
“APC is the only party we have got in Nigeria. The governors of APC seem to be the most active governors in Nigeria. So, my assurance is that we are just constructive partners to work with the party and our loyalty to the party is absolute. And indeed, the party will become the envy of other parties in Africa.
“Whatever that we did not get before, I am sure under my leadership, the party will get it. It is going to be a synergy, we cannot do much without you and conversely I don’t think you can do much without us. So, we are married in this business and there is no going back”, Uzodinma added.