In a Sallah message issued in Abuja yesterday ahead of their meeting in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Thursday, the progressive governors, however, said that all hope was not lost as the opposition was determined to provide an alternative to Nigerians in the years ahead.
The statement, which was signed by the director-general of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Malam Salihu Lukman, further condemned the “arbitrary tendencies”, in reference to weekend’s sealing off of the Adamawa Governor’s Lodge in Maitama District, Abuja, by authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA.
The statement reads in part: “One of the most important lessons of Eid-el-Kabir is the need for patience and sacrifice. However, it is the view of the PGF that Nigerians have been asked to make painful sacrifices too often without anything to show for their patience. For that reason, it is time for Nigerians to demand better service, accountability and recompense for years of patience. It is our position that any government that fails to be accountable to the electorate has lost its legitimacy.
“Sadly, Nigerians have been compelled to deal with lack of services, which has made life unbearable for all Nigerians and the resultant worsening security, poverty and unemployment situations in the country. Without question, any form of celebrations at this time should be marked by thoughts about our fellow countrymen and women that have lost their lives or livelihoods to one form of avoidable conflicts or disasters.
“We also wish to call on the federal government to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and shun all dictatorial tendencies such as the arbitrary sealing off of the Adamawa State Government lodge in Abuja. The PGF not only finds this attitude condemnable but also demands the immediate opening of the lodge to enable it conduct its normal business.
“Similarly, the PGF notes with concern several acts of intimidation of opposition parties by the state government and the PDP in Delta State in the recent run-off election. This is a very dangerous trend that cannot be allowed to continue because it has grave consequences on our democracy. Freedom of choice and right of association, which are enshrined in our constitution, must therefore be allowed to flourish, and not sacrificed for undue electoral advantage.
“We call on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to allow Nigerians to freely and fairly elect candidates of their choice in every part of the country”, the progressive governors said.