Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have weighed in on the recent suspension of handlers of the nation’s social investment programmes, including the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, urging Nigerians to be patient as President Bola Tinubu would only take further actions based on the outcome of ongoing investigations.
This was as the APC Professionals Forum hailed the swiftness with which the president responded to the allegations of malfeasance against the suspended minister, saying the development has sent a strong signal to all federal appointees that the President means business with his Renewed Hope Agenda.
The governors, who on Wednesday night converged on Abuja to chart the way forward for the party in 2024, also expressed strong support for the Tinubu administration.
While the agenda of the meeting was not immediately made available to journalists, Vanguard reports that as of 11:25 p.m., the meeting was still ongoing at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in the Asokoro district of the nation’s capital.
Some of those who attended the meeting were the host, Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Nasir Idris (Kebbi), Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti), and Uba Sani (Kaduna).
Others were Lucky Aiyedatiwa (Ondo), Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi), Ahmad Aliyu (Sokoto), Bassey Otu (Cross River), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), and AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, among others.
In a brief chat after the meeting, Uzodinma said the essence of the meeting was to review happenings in the country.
He said, “This is the first meeting since the beginning of this year, and the meeting allowed us to review the goings on in the country and also agreed on how best to continue to support our government and our party to maximise the benefits of the current policies of the administration.
“The Progressives Governors are united in supporting the APC-led administration of our president, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We will continue to support him. We will take his policies to the grassroots and subnational leaders of our great party and ensure that our people come on the same page with the thinking of the government.”
He said the important objective of the administration is to secure the country and provide adequate welfare to Nigerians.
On the suspension of Dr Edu, the governors said, “The functions of a government include encouraging good things and good appointees and discouraging bad things and bad appointees. But as it has to do with what you just said, it’s just an allegation, and in the wisdom of the president, it is being investigated. After the investigation is completed and the report is made available, the government will make a final decision. So don’t be in a hurry, and don’t allow any sickness like ‘anxietyserosis.’
Ahead of the February bye-elections and rerun, the APC governors also expressed readiness.
“Our party is prepared to go into any election at any time,” said Uzodinma.
In a related development, the APC Professionals Forum has commended President Tinubu for his swift action in suspending his appointees whose actions in office have been found questionable in the course of discharging their duties.
“His decision has renewed the hope of the majority of Nigerians in the fight against corruption and malpractice in public offices,” said a former Governor of Bauchi State and the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Forum, Dr Isa Yuguda.
He said it is the considered opinion of the forum that the move further re-emphasised the importance President Tinubu has placed on integrity in the coming few months after he introduced Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for his appointees to ensure optimal performance.
“With this, we are quite optimistic that a strong signal has been sent to public officials to focus on democratic deliverables as promised in the Renewed Hope agenda and not to be distracted by frivolities that could embarrass the President Tinubu-led administration and our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We are also glad that the President has acceded to our position on the cost of governance by slashing expenditure on all foreign and domestic trips by all officials of his administration, including himself.
“This is not only commendable but also a good way of leading by example. We look forward to more.
“We, however, urge the government to continuously recruit progressive-minded, loyal party members as well as thorough-bred professionals with high standards of ethics into other positions yet to be filled by the administration.”