Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said the just-concluded retreat of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) held in Lagos was borne out of the worries of the governors about the direction the country was headed.
The governor, who spoke with journalists shortly after the retreat, said the governors believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction and must be rescued in order to make life better for the citizenry.
Fayemi, who noted that the main issues discussed are interconnected with effects on poverty, asserted that the governors do not lay claim to having all the answers to the various challenges besetting the country; hence the invitation extended to experts who could also proffer solutions to the challenges.
He stressed that the war against poverty must be fought to a standstill so that Nigerians can have a new lease of life.
Fayemi said: â€œWe have a lot of challenges but we donâ€™t have all the answers to the challenges of Nigeria and we have not pretended to have all the answers. One of the reasons we are doing this is to listen to those who have spent their time to study these challenges and ready to proffer solutions. The fact that we do not have all the answers does not mean we must let the perfect become the enemy of the good. If we keep doing the good things, we will improve on them.
â€œWe have talked about security, agriculture, corruption and education. Those are inexplicably interconnected issues that have a bearing on poverty and if as we have all decided as serious minded people, elected to make life better for the people that poverty is a war that we must fight to a standstill then issues must be comprehensively addressed in an integrated manner so that we have policies that we can share, lessons that we can learn, ideas that come from whole range of states of different and specific ways of addressing agricultural challenges, corruption, education, quality of education and chess to education, and of course addressing the issue of securityâ€, he said.
On the spate of insecurity in the country, the governor noted that religion and ethnicity are not the root cause of insecurity but economic inequality which has led some to taking up arms.
Fayemi, who stressed that the Governors are not happy about the alarming rate at which citizens are lost to insecurity asserted that the country is at war because no fewer than 100,000 Nigerians have lost their lives to the menace since 1999.
The Governors, in the communiquÃ© read by the NGF chairman and Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi reiterated its commitment to pursue cooperation on security management, including sharing of information and placing emphasis on human security needs of the people.
On corruption, the Forum also resolved that the fight against corruption needs a strong political will, moral leadership, certainty of sanction and commitment of governors to succeed and pledge to fill the role.
It noted that the debilitating impact of corruption on national development and adverse human development indices requires a concerted effort to combat corruption in both private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy.