Watch your utterances, Osinbajo tells governors, others

Govs laud Vice President on economic direction, freedom of expression
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has cautioned governors as well as all those occupying other leadership positions in the country to refrain from public utterances that could stir crisis in the polity.

Osinbajo gave the warning yesterday during the valedictory session of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He particularly noted that the governors occupied privileged positions which gave them knowledge of some of the challenges being faced by the country and should rather take deliberate steps that would bring about unity other than cause disaffection among the citizens.

He said the governors, as chief executive of their respective states, understand the importance of unity and should do what it takes to promote togetherness in the nation.

“We must not only rise above the temptation to take advantage of our country’s fault lines, we must definitely condemn and restrain those who do so. We must insist that this country truly belongs to all of us, especially those who cannot defend themselves,” he said.

Speaking at the meeting, the out-going Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who commended Osinbajo for his leadership style in the last four years, advised the Council on the need to work hard, block leakages in the system and take proactive measures to expand the size of the economy.

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, speaking on behalf of South-West governors, described the Vice President as tolerant, friendly, accommodating and a stickler for good governance and accountability.

He advised the next NEC to address the issue of power and steel, saying doing so will go a long way in reflating the economy.

In the same vein on behalf of South-East governors, Imo State Governor and Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, suggested the need to set target as performance benchmark for governors.

According to him, where there is no target, most people don’t feel motivated to perform, noting that the trend among governors over the years has always been that some performed well, another over-performed while others under-performed.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on behalf of North-West governors, commended Osinbajo for providing the right direction to the Council.

Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on behalf of North-Central governors said NEC in the last four years had provided economic direction for the country through an inclusive system run by the Vice President.

While Governor Kashim Shetima of Borno State, on behalf of North-East governors, said Osinbajo had proved himself as a man of character, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, on behalf of South-South governors said since the inception of the Council, party affiliation had never been a consideration for anything and the Vice President provided the platform for freedom of expression and association.

Meanwhile, former governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, who was invited to the meeting, said Nigerian economy was too small when compared to its huge population.

He said the issue of population explosion in the country must be addressed while decisive efforts must be made to expand the economy. (THE GUARDIAN)