The twenty-four governors elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, blamed themselves and the Federal Government for the current wave of separatist agitations in the country, which they said was triggered by weak governance provided by the different tiers of government.
The governors, under the aegis of Progressive Governors’ Forum, PGF, also blamed the dwindling fortunes of the economy as well as poor law enforcement mechanisms for the agitations.
The APC governors’ position came on a day leadership of organised labour alleged in Abuja that some influential Nigerians are funding the on-going hate campaigns and agitations by some ethnic groups, with a view to threatening the unity of Nigeria.
The APC governors in a statement issued in Abuja, and signed by the Director-General of the PGF, Salihu Mohammed Lukman, also called on separatist groups in the country to refrain from making further inciting comments.
The statement read: “In line with the social democratic principles of All Progressives Congress, APC, the PGF promotes all-inclusive government for the development of policies and programmes that improve the life of every Nigerian citizen, regardless of ethnicity and religious orientation.
‘’It is with this in mind that the Forum condemns in the strongest terms, the present secessionist and separatist agitations promoting ethno-regional identity in the country. These sundry factional groups, claiming to represent different ethnic nationalities, sow seeds of disunity and promote secessionist agenda in the nation. We decry and reject their activities in all intents and purposes.
“Acknowledging the rich, diverse heritage of Nigeria as a country, the PGF particularly notes that the resurgence of desperate youth groups promoting ethno-regional identities and extremist positions from the different geo-political zones across the nation as currently experienced, is a reflection of prevalent weak governance, economy and law enforcement system in Nigeria.
“We must create by all means necessary, a country that we can collectively call our home, irrespective of tongue and locality. This is a vision the APC as a party that is committed to lead and for which the PGF is unapologetically and intrinsically loyal. These threats to national unity must cease totally and put away into history.
“While acknowledging that as a nation, we do have challenges, PGF believes that the resolution of those challenges rests with the development of our democracy and with it, the ascendancy of structured processes of national consultations, negotiations and invariably, agreements.
‘’As governors elected under APC, we will work with our party leaders, the Federal Government and all Nigerians who are committed to democratic development of all parts of the country to ensure unencumbered protection of lives of all citizens in every part of the territorial boundary of our nation.
“PGF, therefore, calls for the rise of all decent voices across this country to speak up against the upsurge of some desperate movements across all ethnic groups and support the emergence of a stronger and virile, unified Nigeria for us all. ‘’The Forum insists that, regardless of our diverse identities and whatever differences, Nigeria has to thrive. Hence, there has to be a nation first.’’