The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, has called for the abolition of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF).
Umeh, who was reacting to the crisis that trailed the chairmanship election of the NGF, said this yesterday at the launch of a book titled: “The Making of an Oracle,” written by the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, in Abuja.
He said the existence of NGF had no constitutional basis and was threatening democracy and peace in the country.
Umeh accused the governors of losing touch with the realities in their respective states partly because of their insatiable crave for power both in their states and at the federal level.
He said the excesses of the 36 governors of the federation should be checkmated by proscribing the forum before it caused further harm to the polity than it was doing.
“We are tired of the activities of these 36 men, who are tearing this whole country apart. The NGF has no place in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and should therefore not be allowed to tear us apart, let the forum be abolished for peace to reign in this country,’’ he said.
The APGA chairman said the governors, through the forum had wielded so much power that they had abandoned their primary responsibilities to their constituents.
He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to go beyond the forum and engage with Nigerians directly rather than relating with them through the governors of the 36 states.
Umeh said the president should free himself from the stronghold of the NGF and concentrate on the mandate given to him by millions of Nigerians to lead the nation to greatness.
“I think the president is paying too much attention to the governors; they leave their jobs and come to Abuja to hold the president by the juggler and I think this is not right.
“What the president should do is to ignore this set of people and free himself from their grip, if he wants to re-contest in 2015, he should seek the support of Nigerians and not the governors, they are only 36 out over 150 million Nigerians, let him ignore them and continue with his job,’’ he said.
Umeh commended the author of the book, Kolapo, for her contributions to journalism in Nigeria and urged the media to rise above the present difficulties by reporting issues on merit rather than on political or ethnic sentiments.
The First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, in her remarks called on the leadership of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to work together with the government to address the challenges of security treat in the nation.
The First Lady, who was represented by Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Helen Esuene, advised journalists to take proactive steps in dousing the tension of security rather than fanning the ember of hatred and discord in the country.
“I appeal to the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to thrive harder and uphold the ethic of the profession and conduct of the profession and eschew the abuse language and character assassination.
“In this time of threat and security problem all hands must be on deck to address the situation the media must play a key role to douse the tension rather fanning the ember of hatred and discord It toward restoring.”
The President of NUJ, Mr. Mohammed Garba, commended Kolapo for the courage to publish some of her criticisms of the federal government’s economic agenda since 2008.
He said that her work would make government and other stakeholders reconsider certain decisions on the economy and make adjustments where necessary in the interest of Nigerians.
The 379-page book written by Kolapo was reviewed by Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Costello.