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Subsidy Removal: Tinubu Promises To Roll Out Palliatives After Meeting ’99 Govs

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Against the backdrop of the removal of fuel subsidy, President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to be patient, promising that he will come up with palliatives to assuage the sufferings

The Chairman of the class of 1999 Governors, Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State, conveyed the President’s message after a closed-door meeting of the class of 1999 Governors, in the Council Chamber at the Aso Villa in Abuja.

Addressing State House correspondents, the former governor, who expressed the President’s dream to foster a better nation, asserted that the issue of subsidy is gone forever, expressing the belief that the situation will soon normalize

The group’s chairman further underlined that all hands be on deck to foster a greater nation, particularly as the issues are beyond party politics.

The former class of 1999 Governors, now 26 of them, congratulated the President on his emergence as the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as they held discussions on issues of insecurity in the country, unemployment and electricity, geared towards the nation’s development.

The ex-governors were at the State House to identify with Tinubu, who was the governor of Lagos State from May 1999 to 2007, and to express solidarity over his recent policies since assumption of office as Nigeria’s President on May 29, 2023.

Among the former Governors present are James Ibori of Delta State; Donald Duke of Cross River State; Orji Kalu of Abia State; Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State; Adamu Mu’azu of Bauchi State; Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State; Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State; and Ibrahim Turaki of Jigawa State.

Others are Niyi Adebayo of Ekiti State; Bisi Akande of Osun State; Joshua Dariye of Plateau State; Ahmed Yerima of Zamfara State; Jolly Nyame of Taraba State; Olusegun Osoba of Ogun State as well as Attahiru Bafarawa of Sokoto State.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assured Nigerians that the framework for palliatives to remedy the effects of fuel subsidy removal was being worked out, assuring that the decision was in the best interest of the country, especially in guaranteeing future prosperity.

President Tinubu, who received 18 governors who served with him, Class of 1999, at the Presidential Villa, appealed for more patience from Nigerians, while the government will increase effort, speed up the process and ensure a full-proof social security structure that will not be compromised, especially in cash-transfer.

“I understand that our people are suffering yet there can be no childbirth without pain. The joy of childbirth is the relief that comes after the pain. Nigeria is reborn already with fuel subsidy removal. It is a rebirth of the country for the largest number over a few smugglers.

“Please tell the people to be a little patient.

The palliative is coming. I don’t want cash-transfer to fall into wrong hands. I know it pinches and it is difficult. In the end, we will rejoice in the prosperity of our country,’’ he told the governors, who were led by former Governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion.

“We served as governors and sat in this Council Chamber. All I wanted was democracy and the salvation of the country. I never thought I was going to be here as President, but God Almighty has brought me,’’ President Tinubu stated.

The President assured the governors and Nigerians that he will work towards “unity, equity, stability, and prosperity of the country’’.

“My commitment to that democratic value is unwavering. I am overwhelmed and honored by the numbers of you here,’’ he said, “I have an open door policy. You are my advisers. We went into the pond and wrestled with a pig. We got dirty, and cleaned up. That is why I am here today.’’

President Tinubu noted that the country will not make meaningful progress without fixing electricity, assuring that his administration will harness gas resources, and explore every opportunity to ensure stable power generation and supply.

On Security, the President who had earlier met with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State to review situation in the North East, appealed to Nigerians, especially Plateau State, to sheath their swords and use dialogue in resolving conflicts, adding that issues of borders were man-made, not created by God.

“We will do everything possible to stabilize the country,’’ he added.

The former governors urged the President to pursue his vision for a greater Nigeria with vigour, steadfastness, and resilience, trusting their support for development policies, and promising to provide the necessary social structure for actualization.

“We are here with you. We are your foot soldiers, and you can tap into our experience. You are a person who believes in Nigeria. With your good leadership, Nigeria will take its place,’’ Igbinedion, Chairman, Class of 1999, said.

He affirmed that they were 19 at the meeting, including President Tinubu, who was former Governor of Lagos State and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, former Governor of Benue State, while ten of their mates had passed on.

Other governors at the meeting with President Tinubu were Niyi Adebayo, Ekiti State, Sen. Orji Uzo Kalu, Abia State, Sen. Sam Egwu, Ebonyi State, Adamu Muazu, Bauchi State, Donald Duke, Cross River State, James Ibori, Delta State, Obong Victor Attah, Akwa Ibom State, Chimaroke Nnamani, Enugu State, Saminu Turaki, Jigawa State, Sen. Aleiro Adamu, Olusegun Osoba, Ogun State, Adebisi Akande, Osun State, Sen. Joshua Dariye, Plateau State, Attahiru Bafarawa, Sokoto State, Ahmad Sani Yarima, Zamfara State and Rev. Jolly Nyame, Taraba State.

Dele Alake

Special Adviser to the President

Special Duties, Communication, and Strategy

July 12, 2023

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