By OLUWOLE FAROTIMI
Plans by opposition parties to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in 2015 got a boost yesterday as 10 governors converged in Lagos endorsing the project. The governors who fully backed the merger plans vowed to stop the PDP, saying it is not good for the nation’s hard-earned democracy. Addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting at the Lagos House, Marina , the governors who spoke through Borno State Governor Kashim Shetima, said the meeting was informed by their concern on Nigeria and the way forward.
According to Shettima , “ we, the governors of Borno, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Yobe and Zamfara, rose from a meeting at Lagos House, Marina today, Tuesday , having reviewed the situation in our country , we resolved that to rescue Nigeria, is a task that must be done. “As progressives and patriotic leaders of our people across party , religious and geo-political zones , we are extremely concerned about the state of the nation, as we put our heads together in the interest of our people to deliberate on what can be done to rescue our country,” the governors said.
Also speaking, Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, noted that there is no room for skepticism over the merger plans, saying the project will be driven by the governors and leaders of the parties. “The merger has become very necessary to save our democracy and the likelihood of turning Nigeria into a one-party state does not augur well for democracy, therefore, I personally fully endorse this movement and this new merger at least to rescue the nation, and we say we are on a rescue mission here and to make sure Nigeria gets better, the essence of this whole merger is to make Nigeria a better nation, ”
Okorocha said. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said: “Skepticism is one thing; the commitment that we bring to the table will certainly override any skepticism. I am convinced that the full weight of 10 of us (governors) and many more who unfortunately could not make it today, is a much stronger force. “The underlying reason is clearly how to make this country a better place, this is not the best that this country can have and we intend to deliver Nigeria’s best,” he said. Fashola’s views were not different from his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who assured that a lot of other people will come on board once they see the sincerity of those driving the process.
“That is why we are not taking this lightly, we are very determined and I am sure that with the support of all Nigerians, this merger will work,” Amosun said. Zamfara State Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari also said: “The move is to fix Nigeria in the right perspective, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is something else and if we in opposition say that we are right and you as a journalist and many people outside here, go and ask them whether they are happy since 1999 till date or not, so therefore, it is a duty for all of us as leaders to drive our people right and we believe the PDP has done less.
“We have the idea, the knowledge and we have the progressive idea to move the country forward, so if you say that we intend to move the PDP out of power, yes, we are ready to do that,” he said. Present at the meeting were Govs Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, Shettima, Okorocha, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State while Senator Degere Alkali, represented the governor of Yobe State.