State governors elected on the
platform of the All Progressives Congress on Monday expressed their displeasure
on how they were being sidelined in the choice of those being given federal
appointments in their states by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors protested to Buhari
and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at a meeting they had at the Presidential
Urban Express correspondent,
however, learnt that the complaints were not presented to Buhari at the larger
meeting attended by the APC governors and some deputy governors.
A source, who spoke with our
correspondent on condition of anonymity,
said the larger meeting was only devoted to encouraging the President on
the 21 Chibok girls recently released by Boko Haram, agriculture, the ongoing
anti-corruption war and the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.
The source stated that the larger
meeting, which also had in attendance political appointees like the Secretary
to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and some presidential aides,
lasted for a few minutes.
“During the larger meeting, the governors
said they would like six of them to meet with the President and the
Vice-President alone, but they did not disclose the agenda of the meeting
then,” the source added.
At the second meeting, our
correspondent learnt, the governors expressed their displeasure with the way
they were being sidelined while deciding who would benefit from federal
appointments in their states.
The source gave the names of the
six governors, who attended the meeting with the President and Vice-President
as Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara);
Simon Lalong (Plateau); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna).
“The meeting was held right inside
the President’s office. Presidential aides, including the SGF, were not part of
that meeting. It was just between the President and the Vice-President on one
hand and the six governors on the other hand.
“They told the President clearly
that they wanted to discuss issues of national importance with him and that the
six governors would represent them,” the source told Urban express
The Plateau State Governor, Lalong,
confirmed this development to State House correspondents at the end of the
Lalung said the President had asked
that state governors, who had complaints to put them in writing while promising
to look into them.
“So, all the states that have
complaints are going to put them into writing and the President promised that
he is going to look into it,” he said.
Specifically on the ambassadorial
nominee from his state, Paulen Tallen, who has rejected her nomination, Lalong
said the rejection was not only about her husband’s ill-health as she claimed.
He said the rejection had more to
do on the need for all zones in the state to be treated fairly in terms of
The governor added, “The rejection
is not only about her (Tallen’s) husband. I think it is the dimension of
Plateau politics, because I had already made complaints to Mr. President that
appointments should not be concentrated in one zone.
“The complaints that are coming
from our state are not about her own personal interest; it is the fact that two
ambassadorial appointments are coming from the same zone that we had complained
about. That is my zone.
“We had said that the next
appointment should go to the other zones, the central and the northern zones.
So, when that appointment came, the kind of uproar that followed that
appointment also necessitated an intervention.”
Meanwhile the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum
and governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, on Monday, said the APC had
taken responsibility for Nigeria’s economic downturn.
He said although some of the
problems predated the present administration, the party must take responsibility
without shifting blame.
Okorocha spoke with State House
correspondents shortly after leading the APC governors to a closed-door meeting
with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said, “This was not a
problem brought by APC government; it is a problem that has existed long before
APC came to government and we are only trying to clear the mess of the past.
“But we must take responsibility
and we must never shift the responsibility to anybody.
“As APC, we are responsible for
everything happening in Nigeria. We are responsible for the good, the bad, the
ugly, but we are promising Nigerians that we shall fix it.”
While admitting that Nigerians were
passing through difficult times, Okorocha said there was no surgery that was
He said Nigerians were experiencing
pains because the country was going through what he called “a very serious
The governor asked Nigerians to be
more patient with the present administration.
He said, “We share the pains of
Nigerians, every human being must feel it. We also feel what they are going
through but we are asking for a little patience.
“Let us do things the right way and
do it once and for all. I am sure that by next year, you will begin to see
changes; the price of rice will drop, prices of dollars will begin to stabilise
and we will see a lot of changes.