Governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have agreed on a monthly internal appraisal to prepare individual and collective scorecard for the 2023 national elections, writes Chuks Okocha
Though, the 2023 general elections is over 650 days away, Nigerian governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since April 2021 adopted a peer review mechanism for accessing the performance of their colleagues.
That peer review system adopts a monthly meeting to review the progress of the governors and also in the process commission some of the works like roads and other projects executed by the governors.
The 15 PDP governors have agreed to rotate their meeting on monthly basis. The last meeting took place in Markudi, Benue State and the second in the series took place in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The meeting commenced with a gala night where all the PDP governors were treated to a cultural dances and music from their respective states by the Oyo State cultural troupe. One of the dance drama titled ‘Repairing the Broken Bridge’ spoke truth to the crisis facing Nigeria. It was concluded with a rendition of the National Anthem.
.Guests were treated to editions of old school music that brought back old memories to the admiration of all. The Onyeka Onwuenu and Bob Marley music of One Love was the major attraction of the night.
Enjoying the didactic spectacle of the night were Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Gov. Udom Emmanul – Akwa Ibom State , Gov. Douye Diri – Bayelsa State Gov. Samuel Ortom. Benue State, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa-Delta State. Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, – Enugu Stat, Gov. Nyesom Wike-Rivers State, Gov. Oluseyi Makinde- Oyo State, Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri- Adamawa State, Gov. Godwin Obaseki-Edo State, Gov. Bala Mohammed-Bauchi State and Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohd of Zamfara State
Speaking later, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party-Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF), Governot Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, fired canons at the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) describing it as one without the requisite national spread to represent the interest of the country.
According to Tambuwal, “The meeting of the PDP-GF holding in Ibadan is already holding a promise…We must not lose hope that Nigeria and Nigerians will triumph against the evil forces working against us.
“That is the promise the PDP is holding for Nigeria, by the grace of God, come 2023. We are on a salvation mission; and it is part of the reasons why we have institutionalized this meeting, moving from one state to the other, going forward. We were in Benue, now in Ibadan. From here, we shall know where we’re going next.
“The situation in the country calls for everyone who is committed to the Nigerian state to put hands on deck, not only in prayers but also in action by working together to rescue this country,” Tambuwal said at the dinner.
According to him, it was part of the scheming of APC, which felt that it had no governor in the South-east to remove the ex-governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, from office. In his place, Hope Uzodinma was brought in. But God intervened and gave Edo to Gov. Godwin Obaseki, thus making the South-south solidly a PDP turf and rendering “APC a party without national outlook,” Tambuwal noted.
“With their scheming and shenanigans around the party (PDP),” they tried to manipulate the Edo election, the governor stressed. “It was God’s doing and a message both to the APC and Nigerians- that the APC is not a national party and it does not have national spread,” he added.
“It is, therefore, a clarion call for our leaders and people of our country that we must work together to rescue the country,” the forum’s Chairman further added.
In his remarks at the modest event, the host governor, Makinde noted that “you may see only six governors here but all the six geopolitical zones are represented.
“This is the difference between our party, PDP and the APC. If they try to have such a meeting they will not have a representative from the South-south.
Before the meeting, the host governor, Seyi Makinde like the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom did in April, used the occasion to show his colleagues what he has been doing ranging from new roads, markets and electricity project. It was indeed a peer review of the performances of the PDP governors.
Then in the morning, the main day of the meeting, the PDP governors met at the serene atmosphere of the international Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
After a meeting that lasted over three hours, the PDP governors revalidated the position of the 17 southern governors meeting asking that President Muhammadu Buhari should as matter of urgency summon Police councils meeting in the interest of saving the nascent democracy in Nigeria.
The PDP Governors Forum also reaffirmed their position on the banning of open grazing by herdsmen.
They also called for a constitutional amendment to actualise the devolution of power especially state police and called on the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the electoral act amendments.
Reading the communique of their meeting that took place at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan. the Chairman of the PDP governors and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambawul, said, “The meeting called on M.r President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the States with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of state policing and the general security architecture.”
The PDP governors agreed, “In the interim, Mr President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr President and all state governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing.
“The meeting agreed that the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.”
The chairman of the PDP governors reported that, “The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders / farmers clashes in Nigeria; the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States; and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.”
The meeting enjoined all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages.
To this end he, the PDP governors called “on the incompetent and rudderless APC government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country, and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.”
The meeting re-iterated the earlier call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.
The PDP governors thanked Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for being a gracious and wonderful host, and congratulated him for the many landmark developmental projects he has executed, and urged him to continue to work with all stakeholders in the South-west zone to ensure that PDP takes over majority of the states in the zone.
The 15 PDP governors have agreed to rotate their meeting on monthly basis. The last meeting took place in Markudi, Benue State and the second in the series took place in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State. The meeting commenced with a gala night where all the PDP governors were treated to a cultural dances and music from their respective states by the Oyo State cultural troupe. One of the dance drama titled ‘Repairing the Broken Bridge’ spoke truth to the crisis facing Nigeria. It was concluded with a rendition of the National Anthem. Guests were treated to editions of old school music that brought back old memories to the admiration of all. The Onyeka Onwuenu and Bob Marley music of One Love was the major attraction of the night