We Now Know Better – PDP Governors

The support by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors for the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu weakened yesterday following the biting hardship in the country.
The opposition party governors stated this when they met in Abuja to review the state of the nation and the hardship faced by Nigerians as a result of the economic and security challenges.
The governors, who admitted that they supported the removal of the fuel subsidy, lamented that they had believed there were safeguards embedded in the process.
They. however, noted that the naira has been on a free fall, adding that the rising cost of living has put Nigeria almost on the road to Venezuela.

Venezuela, a South American oil-producing nation like Nigeria, has in recent years suffered immense economic woes, including triple-digit inflation and a significant emigration of millions seeking better opportunities. Its inflation rate eased to just under 190 percent last year from the previous year’s 234 percent.
The PDP governors, who met in Abuja under the aegis of PDP Governors’ Forum, also restated their demand for state police just as they decried the fall of the Naira.
The opposition governors noted that they had been working with the federal government to assuage the situation, adding, however, that the central government should urgently embark on initiatives in collaboration with all the sub-national governments to bring a lasting solution to the crises.
President Tinubu declared the removal of the contentious fuel subsidy during his inauguration on May 29, 2023, causing an immediate hike in fuel costs as well as other goods and services.
Protests over the high cost of living broke out in some states like Kano, Niger and Rivers States recently.
But addressing newsmen shortly after an over three-hour meeting, the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed said, “We have been 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 with them to make sure that we don’t bring any distraction but the monetary and economic policies rest 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 and 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 will provide some succour to our people at the lower level.
“But 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.”
On the call for state police and the fall of the naira, the governors said, “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.”
While he noted that the PDP governors give concrete opposition without insulting anybody, he, however, said that the decision squarely rests with Nigerians and other organs in the country to make sure that the government does things that will bring succour to all.
He said, “PDP is the most democratic party, the most experienced party in the country. 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.
“What we are doing is giving positive criticism to the obnoxious policies of the federal government,” he said.

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