President Goodluck Jonathan for the first time spoke out on the penchant by some state governors to adopt a confrontational attitude towards him and the Federal Government, saying such action will not help the development of their states.
According to the president, the best thing for state governors to do was to borrow a leaf from Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State by ensuring cordial relationship with him and the Federal Government.
Jonathan gave the advice on Tuesday while receiving a delegation of Anambra State indigenes, who were at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to thank him for the support he gave to Obi, whose eight years tenure comes to an end later this month.
Obi, who was elected on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, will hand over to the governor-elect, Chief Willie Obiano, on March 17.
President Jonathan in a veiled attack at some unnamed politicians, who preferred to fight him, commended the outgoing Anambra State governor for cooperating with his government and playing an active role as a member of the Economic Management Team.
He said, “Peter Obi worked very hard as a governor, very friendly to the government.
“He is a member of our Economic Management Team and an honorary adviser to the President on Finance and Commerce and he worked very hard, attended all the meetings and made very meaningful contributions.
“Even the day we announced that he might be leaving, the suggestion was that we should still keep him even if he is no longer the governor of Anambra State. That is the relationship we had. I have to thank Governor Peter Obi for that good relationship.
“A number of politicians feel that the best thing to do is to be abusing Mr. President, abusing the Federal Government and so on.
“You are elected to develop your state, I think the best thing is to have good relationship with the centre, whether you have a pin or you don’t have but one day it will come. Wearing boxing gloves, jumping into the boxing ring to face Mr. President does not help the development of any state”.
He promised that the same hand of fellowship would be extended to Gov. Obi’s successor.
Jonathan announced that the ground-breaking of the second Niger Bridge, which he had earlier promised would take place place before Obi bows out from office, will take place on March 10.
He explained that the event was stalled because of his directive that the project should not start until the finance modalities were worked out.
He said, “On the second Niger Bridge, I remember I said we would make sure that we start that project before Peter Obi steps aside.
“The Finance Minister and the Works Minister must work out details so that if we are going for the ground-breaking ceremony, we know that the work will not stop until the project is completed and God willing that is what it is going to be.
“We have agreed to come on Monday, the 10th of this month. We will quickly do the ground-breaking; I think it is about 11 am on Monday before we rush back to Abuja to inaugurate the National Conference delegates”.
Obi, on his part, affirmed that it would be difficult for any state governor to make any meaningful impact without the support of the Federal Government.
“It will be difficult for any governor to make any meaningful impact without the support of the Federal Government. I have served under three Presidents and I can say the difference. Continue to support the governor-elect. Anambra is your home and we shall continue to stand by you”, the outgoing governor said.