Governors who served in 1999 when the fourth Republic began, have assured one of them, who is now the President of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that they are ready to be his Footsoldiers as he is set to reposition the country.
The former Governors, who go with group name “Class of 1999,” were at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, July 12, on a special visit to President Tinubu, who himself was Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.
The Governors in the group are George Akume (who is now the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former Governor of Benue State).
Others are Niyi Adebayo, Ekiti State; Senator Orji Uzo Kalu, Abia State; Senator Sam Egwu, Ebonyi State; Adamu Muazu, Bauchi State; Donald Duke, Cross River State; James Ibori, Delta State; Obong Victor Attah, Akwa Ibom State; Chimaroke Nnamani, Enugu State; Saminu Turaki, Jigawa State; Senator Aleiro Adamu, Kebbi State; Olusegun Osoba, Ogun State; Adebisi Akande, Osun State; Senator Joshua Dariye, Plateau State; Attahiru Bafarawa, Sokoto State; Ahmad Sani Yarima, Zamfara State and Rev. Jolly Nyame, Taraba State. Ten others have died.
Speaking on behalf of the visiting leaders, chairman of the group, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, urged the President to pursue his vision for a greater Nigeria with vigour steadfastness, and resilience.
He promised the support of the group for development policies towards providing the necessary social structure for actualization of the nation of our dream.
“We are here with you. We are your foot soldiers, and you can tap into our experience. You are a person who believes in Nigeria. With your good leadership, Nigeria will take its place.”
This was even as President Tinubu said that he would take them as his advisers in an open government he is set to run.
“My commitment to democratic value is unwavering. I am overwhelmed and honored by the numbers of you here.
“I have an open door policy. You are my advisers. We went into the pond and wrestled with a pig. We got dirty, and cleaned up. That is why I am here today.
“We served as governors and sat in this Council Chamber. All I wanted was democracy and the salvation of the country. I never thought I was going to be here as President, but God Almighty has brought me.”
The President assured the governors and Nigerians that he will work towards the unity, equity, stability, and prosperity of the country.
President Tinubu appealed once more to Nigerians for patience as his government is speeding up the process of a full-proof social security structure that will not be compromised, especially in cash-transfer.
“I understand that our people are suffering yet there can be no childbirth without pain. The joy of childbirth is the relief that comes after the pain. Nigeria is reborn already with fuel subsidy removal.
“It is a rebirth of the country for the largest number over a few smugglers.
“Please tell the people to be a little patient.
“The palliative is coming. I don’t want cash-transfer to fall into wrong hands. I know it pinches and it is difficult. In the end, we will rejoice in the prosperity of our country.”
President Tinubu said that the country will not make meaningful progress without fixing electricity, assuring that his administration will harness gas resources, and explore every opportunity to ensure stable power generation and supply.
On Security, the President who had earlier met with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State to review situation in the North East, appealed to Nigerians, especially Plateau State, to sheath their swords and use dialogue in resolving conflicts.
He said that the issues of borders were man-made, not created by God, saying; “we will do everything possible to stabilize the country.”