The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has condemned in strong terms, the alleged plot to install an interim government, other than the recently elected executives waiting to be sworn in on May 29th this year.
A statement signed by the Chairmen of the forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal notes that the governors will do all they can to defend the country’s democracy, as the forum will not support any unconstitutional regime change.
The governors also condemned the continued delay in refunding the backlog of monies from stamp duties to states, as it promises to explore every available means of getting the refunds to states, including going to court.
Other issues discussed by the forum included a planned induction of the newly elected governors and their spouses scheduled to hold between May 14 through 19 this year.
Below is a full communique as put out by the forum.
ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 4TH MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM (NGF) HELD ON THURSDAY, 29TH MARCH 2023
We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our emergency meeting today discussed critical issues of national interest and resolved as follows:
1. First, we congratulate members who were re-elected for a 2nd term in office. While we acknowledge that the election was not perfect, we will take advantage of the learning points to strengthen our democracy and electoral processes.
2. Regarding the refund of backlog of Stamp Duties due to State Governments, the Forum restated its commitment to engaging with all stakeholders and exploring all legal channels available to it in ensuring that monies which ought to have since been used for development projects are duly refunded to the States.
3. The Forum is set to conduct its flagship induction programme for its newly elected and re- elected governors. This event, which will bring together newly elected, re-elected, past governors, national and international leaders, captains of industries and development partners, is scheduled to hold from 14th -17th May 2023, is designed to build the capacity of Governors to establish, organize, manage, and set agenda/priorities using best practices whilst leveraging the tools of their trade – people, processes, programmes and public opinion – for greater and more effective governance.
4. The second part of the Induction programme will hold from 17th -19th May, 2023 and will focus on the Governors’ Spouses Summit designed to strategize on how the activities of the Governors’ spouses can best complement the roles of the Governors in promoting good governance at the sub-national level and help the spouses better understand the processes of transitioning to their new roles as first ladies.
5. The Forum deliberated extensively on the alleged plot by some unscrupulous elements to install an interim government, as contained in the recent statement issued by the Department for State Services (DSS). Governors condemned in the strongest terms, any unconstitutional means of regime change and pledged its commitment to continue to defend Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
6. In addition, the Forum believes that issuing statements without arrests is akin to heating up the polity and causing unwarranted tension in the country. It called on the DSS to do its job by immediately arresting and prosecuting all those involved in the plot as a matter of urgency.
7. On the Implementation of the National Development Plan (2021-2025), the Forum nominated six (6) Governors to represent the six geopolitical zones of the country in the National Steering Committee: North Central – Governor of Kwara State, North East – Governor of Bauchi State, North West – Governor of Zamfara State,
South South – Governor of Edo State, South East – Governor of Anambra State and South West – Governor of Ekiti State
8. Finally, the Forum received a briefing on the cancellation of the proposed privatization of Five (5) National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by National Council on Privatization (NCP) and the withdrawal of the matter at the Federal High Court between the 36 States of the Federation Vs the Federal Government of Nigeria which was instituted to halt the process to enable stakeholders address the concerns by States and Local Governments who collectively own a joint stake of 53% in the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). Members applauded this move by the NCP which appears to have taken into consideration the recommendation of the States to halt the process due to ill-timing amongst other reasons.
Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum 29th March 2023