Ten state governors elected on the platform of four opposition parties rose from a four-hour meeting in Lagos on Tuesday with a resolve to collectively back the ongoing merger initiatives by their various political parties to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
At the end of the closed-door meeting, held at the Marina residence of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, read a communiqué to journalists saying the governors reviewed the situation in the country, and then agreed that dethroning the PDP was critical to rescuing Nigeria from anarchy and underdevelopment.
“As progressive and patriotic leaders of our people across party, religious and geo political zones, we are extremely concerned about the state of the nation and we have put our heads together in the interest of our people to deliberate on what can be done to rescue our country”, the communiqué said.
“As Governors, we fully endorse the merger initiatives already commenced by our various political parties and we will put our full weight behind these efforts,” added Mr. Shettima, who is of the opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party.
The governors argued that Nigeria is greater than everyone and that everybody has a duty to make the merger work in the interest of the people and the future of generations yet unborn.
Also speaking, the host, Mr. Fashola of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, said the meeting was about making Nigeria a better place. He dismissed suggestions by the PDP and some Nigerians that the might not work.
He said, “I am convinced here that the full weight of ten of us governors and many more who unfortunately could not make it today is a much more stronger force and the underlying reason is clearly how to make this place a better place.”
In his speech the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, also of the ACN, said a lot of the other governors who were not present at the meeting would come on board once they are convinced of the sincerity of the participants in Tuesday’s meeting.
Justifying his attendance at the meeting, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said the planned merger had become necessary to save the country from being turned into a one-party state.
“I personally fully endorse this movement and merger,” Mr. Okorocha, of the opposition All Progressives Grand Alliance, said. “We are on a rescue mission here and the essence is about making Nigeria a better nation.”
The Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazziz Yari, described the meeting as a pathway to fixing Nigeria and putting it on the path of development.
“We believe that the PDP has not done enough,” Mr. Yari, also an ANPP governor, said. “We have the idea, the knowledge and the progressive intention to move the country forward. So, if you say that we are going to move PDP out of power, yes we are ready to do that, God willing,” he said.
Those at the meeting were Mr. Shettima, Mr. Okorocha, Mr Fashola , Nassarawa, Governor Tanko Almakura (Nassarawa), Mr. Amosun, Governor Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Governor Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Mr. Yari and the Yobe state governor, who was represented by Senator Jejere Alkali.