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Governors fight back, say Buhari govt turned Nigeria into ‘killing field,’ made citizens poorer

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The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime of failing its primary assignment of securing the nation, hence turning the country into “a killing field” through banditry, kidnapping, and other myriads of insecurity.

In a statement by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the NGF Director of Media and Public Affairs, the governors alleged that the nonchalance of the regime further plunged Nigerians into poverty.

“First and foremost, the primary duty of any government is to ensure the security of lives and property, without which no sensible human activity takes place,” the governors said. “But the federal government, which is responsible for the security of lives and property, has been unable to fulfil this covenant with the people, thus allowing bandits, insurgents, and kidnappers to turn the country into a killing field, maiming and abducting people, in schools market squares and even on their farmlands.”

While addressing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, alleged that the governors underperformed in alleviating poverty among rural dwellers to make life more meaningful for rural communities.

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”And from our demographic, it shows that the greatest numbers of our people live in rural areas, but the governors are not working in the rural areas.

”Right now, 70 per cent of our people live in rural areas. They produce 90 per cent of what we eat. And unfortunately, 60 per cent of what they produce is lost due to post-harvest loss, and it does not get to the market,” he said.

However, the governors described Mr Agba’s statement as “not only preposterous and without any empirical basis, but also very far from the truth.”

“This dereliction of duty from the centre is the main reason why people have been unable to engage in regular agrarian activity and in commerce,” the governors said .”Today, rural areas are insecure, markets are unsafe, surety of travels are improbable, and life for the common people generally is harsh and brutish.”

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They queried how defenceless rural dwellers would maintain peace and harmony when insecurity ravages communities across the country.

“How does a minister whose government has been unable to ensure security, law, and order have the temerity to blame governors?” They queried.

NGF recalled the Edo and Akwa Ibom governments, which also blamed the current administration for the hardship facing Nigerians.

“Although the minister committed the folly of tarring all thirty-six governors with the same brush, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all reply to the minister’s misguided outburst.

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“For example, it is the federal government that, in its campaign message in 2019, promised to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. Today, records show that more than 130 million Nigerians are living below the globally accepted poverty line of a dollar a day.

“Under the current administration that Mr Clement Agba is minister, the national cash cow, the NNPC, has failed to remit statutory allocations to states in several months. The situation had compelled governors to rely on other sources of revenue, like, the SFTAS program and other interventions anchored by the NGF, to fund states activities while monies budgeted for such federal ministries as Agriculture, Rural Development, and Humanitarian Affairs are not being deployed in the direction of the people.

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“So, where is the minister getting his unverified facts and figures from? It is important to mention here that only this week, the House of Representatives asked the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, to quit office if she was not ready to do her work of alleviating poverty in the land. This, in other words, is a resounding vote of no confidence on the ministers among whom Mr. Agba serves.”

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