By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CHAIRMAN of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, Abdulaziz Yari, yesterday in Abuja said that governors must work together with President Muhammadu Buhari given the assistance he had rendered to states especially in the areas of paying salaries.
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Yari, who is the outgoing governor of Zamfara state and now senator-elect while speaking with State House correspondents after joining President Muhammadu Buhari to observe Friday juma’at prayers at the State House mosque, advised that the next leadership of the forum must work based on the president’s agenda.
He said that the present membership of the forum under his leadership had cooperated in full with the president who he said was magnanimous enough to provide bailouts that enabled the states to pay workers salaries.
Fielding question on what type of NGF leadership he would like to see emerge, Yari said: “I will like to see a leadership that will perform better than I did, the type that will work in tandem with the presidency.
“I appreciate my colleagues for giving me the cooperation and within the forum, there was no break up, and there was no crisis between the presidency and the forum.
“We worked together for our economy to grow and to support the president on his agenda to fight corruption and insecurity.
“You are fully away of what the President has done to the state, the bailouts to ensure that workers could be paid their salaries. We are all from the states including Mr. President himself.
“I can give the governors pass mark. Mr. President has commissioned a number of projects in the states, atimes he sent representatives.
“So, I hope the NGF will remain united and work in tandem with the Federal government’s agenda.”
The NGF boss attributed his electoral victory and that of the state governorship candidate who he supported, to his ability to manage the direct primaries adopted by his All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, “I have said it times without number, I am the first chairman, who oversaw the pioneer direct primaries in Osun State with 18 candidates contesting for the governorship position of the state. They were all high profile candidates including the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, many former permanent secretaries, the speaker of the state, the secretary to the government of the state.
“I have said it repeatedly that if my colleagues can accept direct primaries, it is the simplest system that will involve every member of the party.
“In my state, there were only seven or eight people contesting for the governorship position and I have said it that if I could preside over primaries where 18 people contested and succeeded, why can’t I manage eight, nine or 10 in my state?
“I have been on ground since 1999, to date, and I know the system and how it works. I have been party secretary, party chairman, House of Representatives and a two-term governor. It is with this experience that I was able to manage.
“Unfortunately, there were a lot of misunderstanding between the party in the state and the national body but in the end, we ended in the court and the court gave the verdict and INEC compiled.