The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa), has accused the Southern Governors Forum of playing to the gallery with their demand for restructuring.
State governors from the southern part of the country, on Tuesday, met in Asaba and issued a communique in which they demanded the immediate restructuring of Nigeria and the banning of open grazing in their areas of jurisdiction.
However, reacting to the development in an interview with journalists in his country home, in Keffi, on Thursday, Adamu, who was also a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, alleged that the southern governors betrayed their oath of office and loyalty to Nigeria, by their conduct and utterances.
Adamu said, “The recent meeting of the Southern Governors Forum is an act of betrayal of the trust Nigerians reposed in them. Each governor pledged and swore an oath and they emphasised loyalty to the sovereignty of this country. They also pledged their loyalty to the President of the country. That’s their oath of office.
“While we accept the fact that we have freedom of association and freedom of expression as citizens, they have failed to express their views through the right channel. They are members of the National Council of State. Every governor is a member of the NCS. It also included former presidents who are still living.
“There is no better forum at their level to take a joint decision than such a forum. The fact that they have taken a decision as a divisive move does not speak well of their intention. I feel it is a betrayal of trust. I think they are just playing to the gallery.
“What they are saying is not new. Those things have become like broken records, saying the same thing over and over again. Why can’t they come to the appropriate body which is the National Assembly to project their ideas?
“They have members in the National Assembly who are representing them, if they have an issue that is so important as that which borders on the constitution of the country, they should go there and express their grievances.
“We would sit, debate it and see how best we can come out of it. There can’t be Nigeria if everyone wants to have things happen in his or her own way.
“There is a constitution and there is a framework that we are supposed to operate as governors. To go outside it is a betrayal of their oath of office. Each of them talking there, if you take a look at what is happening in their individual states, they cannot in all honesty and good conscience, challenge Buhari.”
In a related development, the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, appealed to Nigerians to be wary of attempts by some leaders to hoodwink them into looking away from the real issues.
He said this in a statement titled, “Southern Governors Summit: Okechukwu Appeals For Caution, Canvasses Dual Restructuring,” which he signed in Abuja, on Thursday.
Okechukwu argued that granting state governors additional powers at this time would be counterproductive because it would put democracy in grave danger in Nigeria.