From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja, Abuja 

National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, has admitted that fuel subsidy removal is subjecting Nigerians to a difficult and challenging moment.

He spoke, yesterday, during a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the governors, under the umbrella of APC Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), led by its newly elected Chairman, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.

The 10 governors in attendance were Imo, Uzodimma, Yobe, Mai Mala Buni, Kogi, Yahaya Bello, Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule, Niger, Mohammed Umar Bago, Kaduna, Ubah Sani, Gombe, Mohammed Inua Yahaya, and Kebbi, Nasir Idris.

Adamu told the governors that they have emerged at a very difficult period, confessing that the removal of the fuel subsidy will be very challenging to Nigerians, particularly the state governors where it matters most.

He equally told them to be ready to carry their crosses at their respective states, even as he assured the party will not only give them every necessary support that will help them to succeed.

Adamu said: “For us, anything that we want to say to you is adherence to the manifesto as much as you can. We have a general framework for the governance of the country and you represent those who fly the flag of the party and it is expected that whatever you do, you will have in mind the manifesto that the party gives the country.

“You, as the chief executive officers of the states, must key into this manifesto but there are peculiarities, there are priorities you must have set and you are bound to do as much as you can to meet the expectations of those who voted for us.

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“We are in a very difficult moment and you have come at a very difficult period. Even with the timing so, of the lifting of the fuel subsidy, this is going to be very specially challenging to us, particularly to you because you are where it matters most. From national politics, you are the shock absorbers in the various states of the federation. You live with the people. You wake up with the people and you work with them. The expectation is that you could have a better appreciation of their pains as citizens of this country. So, a lot of expectations will be on you as governors of the federating units of this great country.

“As far as the party is concerned, we will give you every cooperation you need. If you have any problem, turn to us and we will give you the best advice as we can. But whatever we do with you, you are the one wearing the shoes and know where it pinches.

“Two years are for actual governance. Before you know, you will finish with the tribunals, it will be getting to two years and you will start seeing posters and billboards flying, newspaper publications. This is a tradition in our democracy, fortunately or unfortunately. We must be ready for that. So, you have no time to waste.

“Fortunately, you are lucky to have a president who will listen to you. He has come with the same urge, the same desire to deliver. So, you are lucky. But whatever you do, do not forget you will bear your cross.

“We will not as a party stand in your way for a good programme. If someone does so, please draw our attention so that we will stop it,” he said.

On why the meeting was delayed, Adamu said: “It has been our intention to have the opportunity of receiving our governors immediately after the gubernatorial and states Houses of Assembly elections. But immediately after those elections, our president-elect travelled abroad and was away for about five weeks.

“To have an important meeting as that of the governors and the party, we thought it advisable that he was on the ground before holding the meeting. By the time he came back, the space was agog with the issue of sharing of power in the National Assembly and it took the winds off our sails.

“So we got engaged trying to see how best we can reach some understanding and before we got over that, we had inaugural activities and we are better placed now to settle down, to invite our governors,” he said.