National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdulahi Adamu, has urged governors elected on the platform of the party to adhere to the manifesto of the ruling party in their respective states.
Adamu spoke at a meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC and members of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) held at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja
He admitted that the country was in a difficult moment, and the APC governors were assuming office at a difficult period considering the timing of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Adamu’s admission came as Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinmma, just emerged as the new Chairman of PGF.
Uzodinmma said practically all the presidential hopefuls promised to remove subsidy if elected president.
Adamu said at the meeting of APC’s NWC and members of PGF said it had been the intention of the NWC to have the opportunity of receiving the party’s governors immediately after the gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly elections.
He recalled that immediately after those elections, then president-elect, Bola Tinubu, travelled abroad and was away for about five weeks. He added that to have an important meeting with the governors, the party thought it was advisable Tinubu was on ground before holding the meeting.
He noted that by the time Tinubu returned to Nigeria, the space was agog with the issue of zoning of leadership positions of the 10th National Assembly, which he said took the winds off their sails.
The APC national chairman said, “So we got engaged trying to see how best we can reach some understanding and before we got over that, we had inaugural activities and we are better placed now to settle down, to invite our governors.
“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 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.”
Adamu added that the party’s governors were 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.”
The chairman assured them that the leadership of the party would cooperate with them.
He told the APC governors, “If you have any problem, turn to us and we will give you the best advice 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.”
Uzodinmma said, “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 that will market the policies and programmes of government.
“APC is the only party we’ve 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.”
Other governors in attendance were Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abduallahi Sule (Nasarawa), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Uba Sani (Kaduna), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Nasir Idris (Kebbi), and Dapo Abiodum (Ogun).
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja