Governors of the 36 states of the federation have resolved to change their focus to the provision of economic opportunities for the people.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, revealed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, saying that it as the key area where foreign missions in Nigeria must assist if their intention is to help in the liberation of Nigerians from poverty, hunger and disease.
Fayemi made the assertion when he received the Czech Ambassador to Nigeria Marek Skoll who called on him at his Abuja residence on Tuesday.
The NGF Chairman who emphasised that “there is no democracy without rule of law” also philosophised that “elections do not a democracy make”.
The governor added: “We need to increase economic opportunity at the subnational level for the safety and security of our people because security and welfare is the first job of the government.”
Fayemi further said: “In the minds of the people we need more than governance for the goodwill of the people” adding that, “at the end of the day there are no “Federal Nigerians but state citizens.”
He said those who are friends of Nigeria must understand the two-level strata of the country and aid the one that best touches the heart of the problem as it were.
Fayemi noted that it was difficult to extricate violence from poverty, saying: “Someone who is less educated is a lot more risk-averse than someone who is educated and can read the future and therefore the thrust is to get more people out of poverty and illiteracy, as quickly as possible for good governance to germinate on an even level in the country.”
“States are interested in agriculture, manufacturing, education and other economic generators that improve the quality of life of our people. The more qualified the people the more accountable the governors would be because qualified people will be able to hold those in government to put their foot to fire for the benefit of all.”
On Ambassador Skoll ’s assertion that his visits to Nigeria were to witness Nigeria’s elections,
Fayemi stated: “We’ve proved that we are not just a democracy that writes election results and the country is gradually emerging strong among regions where one must prove his mettle to win, by propounding a strong manifesto and agenda for the people and genuinely convincing them that one is there for their general good.”
Earlier, the Ambassador expressed delight at the prospects of helping Nigeria in any way he and his government can.
He said: “I’ll be delighted as a duty to help in any way. I have witnessed in my short stay in Nigeria that there are areas where we can intervene but most importantly, I learnt after witnessing elections here that there are things to learn from Nigeria as well.”
“I must emphasise, with no false modesty that your political environment was very vibrant when I witnessed it for my personal experience”, the Ambassador stated.
By Leon Usigbe,