Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has restated call for the creation of state police as a way of addressing the various security challenges in the country.
The governors after their meeting in Abuja, which ended in the wee hours of Friday, accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government of politicizing the security apparatus in the country.
Chairman of the Forum, Governor Serirke Dickson of Bayelsa, who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting, said this was part of the decisions reached at the meeting.
Dickson stated that the forum also discussed the issue of alleged diversion of local government funds by state governors. He stated that none of the governors elected on the platform of the opposition party is involved in the alleged diversion of council funds.
According to him, “We as governors on the platform of the PDP want to make it clear that no PDP governor is involved in this allegation of diverting local government funds for whatever purpose.
“In our case, the reverse is the case. It is the state government that has been supporting and subsidizing funding for the local government. So we call on the federal government and agency in charge to name the state governments and tell us the date and the people who were in charge as the time when this diversion took place.
“Secondly, we express deep concern over the politicization of the security apparatus in every state, by the federal government and its agencies. Essentially, in the states they are not in control of and we believe also that this is the reason for the widespread insecurity. So we will take some of these issues up when we interact with the President Federal Republic of Nigeria by tomorrow or whenever we see him.”
Furthermore, the Bayelsa State governor stated that PDP governors are eager to pay the N30, 000 minimum wage, so as to alleviate the suffering of workers.
However, he noted that the governors want a review of the revenue-sharing formula, so that more money can be available to the states.
Dickson added that PDP governors are shocked at the suspension of the license of DAAR Communication, owners of African Independent Television (AIT)/ Raypower Radio.
“The forum notes the shocking intolerance and act of repression against the media by the federal government. This evening, as you are aware, DAAR Communications, we understand has been closed down. And our position is that due process must be followed.
“If there is any allegation of infraction, then due processes of the law should take place. Because when you shut down news outlets, when you harass and intimidate journalists, then you are shutting down Nigerians from speaking their minds. And in democracy, freedom of expression is a cardinal component.
“So we condemn what has taken place and we urge the federal government and its agency to forthwith, do what is right. That is, reopen the company and follow the due process of the law,” he stated.