The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) has raised an alarm over the escalating cost of living in Nigeria, drawing parallels with Venezuela’s economic hardship and warning that the country could be treading a similar path under the administration of President Bola Tinubu.
The forum’s chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, voiced these concerns during an interaction with journalists after the forum’s meeting, which took place at the Oyo State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, on Monday.
He said, “At the onset of this administration, we supported the removal of subsidy, we believed that there were safeguards, we believed that if we took collective decisions, we should go by it.
“But certainly, we have seen that it is a free fall for the naira. The cost of living is going high, we are almost on the road to Venezuela.”
Mohammed also said, “We are working closely with the federal government since the inception of this administration. The rising cost of living is not only under the purview of the federal government.
“We have been partnering together with them to make sure that we don’t bring any distraction but the monetary and economic policies rests squarely with the federal government.
“The majority of Nigerians voted for this administration, so we are doing so much across party lines and on bi-partisan basis, within the Nigeria governors forum within the National Economic Council to make sure that we cushion the effects of some of these policies.
“We have reached out to our people and opened the food reserves in a manner that it will provide some succour to our people at the lower level.”
The Bauchi State Governor described the PDP as the most democratic and experienced party in the country.
He said, “We have been at the seat of governance and Nigerians took a decision to bring APC at the centre and we respect their sensibilities and sense of judgement of Nigerians.
“So, we are giving concrete opposition but not insulting anybody. But ultimately the decision squarely rests with Nigerians and other organs in the country to make sure that we do things that will bring succour to all of us.”
On the Edo State Governorship Election, he said, “We are 100 percent behind Edo and you can see that there is no rancour, there is no division and we are very much behind the National Workings Committee, the state chapter of the party and indeed the governor to make sure that we go together in unison to produce a successor for the most respected eldest governor in the governors forum.”
Earlier, while reading the Communique, after the forum’s meeting, Mohammed said, “The meeting deliberated on various issues of interest and concern to the Forum, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the country and issued the following Communiqué:
“The meeting reviewed the State of the Nation and noted the hardship being faced by Nigerians as a result of the economic and security challenges facing the nation.
“The Forum consequently urges the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency embark on initiatives involving all the sub national governments to bring a lasting solution to the crises.
“The PDP Governors will continue to play their part in the effort to bring security and succour to our people.
“To this end, we reiterate our call for State Police with appropriate safeguards to avoid any abuse or overreach by any tier of government.
“The Forum decried the falling value of the Naira and requested the monetary and fiscal authorities to find appropriate solutions.
“The meeting further reviewed recent developments in the Peoples Democratic Party and committed to leading efforts to revamp and reposition the party to serve as an effective opposition to the ruling Party in Nigeria.
“Furthermore, the Forum passed a vote of confidence in the Iliya Damagum led National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party and urged it to put in motion the machinery for convening meetings of the appropriate organs of the party – from Caucus to National Executive Committee (NEC) as soon as possible.”
Those who attended the meeting were: Gov. Bala Mohammed ( Bauchi State), Gov Siminalayi Fubara ( Rivers State)-Vice Chairman, Gov. Seyi Makinde (Oyo State) – Member (Host), Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri -(Adamawa State)– Member.
Others include: Gov. Caleb Mutfwang – (Plateau State) – Member, Gov. Dauda Lawal -(Zamfara State)- Member, Gov. Kefas Agbu (Taraba State)- Member, Gov. Godwin Obaseki- (Edo State) – Member, Dep. Gov. Ifeanyi Ossai – Enugu State – Member, Dep Gov. Monday John Onyeme (Delta State)- Member.
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