First Lady’s rebuke not meant for us alone – Governors

The Governors of the 36 states of the federation have sought to deflect, from themselves, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari’s criticism of government failure to deliver the goods to the people.

Speaking at the National Mosque during the National Executive Council meeting of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) at the weekend, Aisha had said: “We should either fasten our seatbelt or do the needful or we will all regret it very soon because, at the rate things are going, things are getting completely out of hand. The VP (Yemi Osinbajo) is here, some ministers are here, they are supposed to do justice to the situation.”

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Abdulrazaq Barkindo, in Abuja on Sunday, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) argued that contrary to the media interpretation of the statement as being meant for state governors specifically, it was meant for anyone everyone in power.

NGF pointed out however that the First Lady’s remark could not have come at a better time as the nation’s religious leaders have to be told “that things are getting out of hand is an indictment not just of governors, as the reporters would like the general public to believe, but of the nation’s entire political elite.”

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NGF, therefore, accused the media of rushing to “paint state governors with one brush” and in the process, “destroyed the message that the First Lady seeks to convey. Mrs Buhari was sermonizing on anyone in a position of power or authority.”

The statement added: “Governors are doing their best to lift Nigerians out of misery and Nigerians are beginning to witness an improvement in their standards of living because of the conscious efforts of State Governors throughout the country.

“The nation is replete with remarkable improvements in different facets of public life. For example, public schools in Kaduna have received a serious boost, aged women in Ekiti State are receiving stipends from government to keep their bodies and souls together, food security has taken the front burner in Ebonyi, Lagos and Kebbi States, unqualified Permanent Secretaries have been uprooted in Adamawa State and youth empowerment has taken center stage in Ogun.

“There are similar examples in every single State of Nigeria, all thanks to the hard work governors are putting into their jobs.

“It is therefore incorrect and mischievous to allude to the warning by Mrs Aisha Buhari as only directed at state governors as there is nowhere in the speech where the First Lady referred directly to the governors.”

“Meanwhile Governors have also lent their voices to the social media Bill that is currently setting the tone for a showdown between the public and the National Assembly. The First Lady also made reference to the Social Media Bill in her speech at the NEC of the NSCIA.

At its last meeting this November, which was chaired by the Governor of Sokoto State and Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the governors stated categorically that, because the Social Media Bill affects everybody, it is necessary for the National Assembly to consider holding a public hearing on the Bill before it is passed.”

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