Chris Steven, Abuja
It was a show of emotion, solidarity and unprecedented unity of faith as over 500 Civil Society groups, Non Governmental Organizations and traders association came out en mass in a rally to the Rayfield Government House, Jos to demand for quality service delivery from the north central Governors.
The protesters urged Nigerians to hold the governors accountable for the underdevelopment in the region, saying most of them lack ideas to moves thier states forward.
Addressing the protest, National Co-ordinator, Conference of Minority Tribes in Nigeria, Comrade Okpokwu Ogenyi who led the protest said Nigerians have roundly and collectively blamed the federal government for the biting hardship in the land but have failed to hold the state governors accountable.
He said, if anything, the governors running the 36 states, across political divide, are carrying on as if there is no economic emergency in the land, adding that the governors, without exception, still embark on foreign trips as if there are no costs attached to such unwarranted outings.
According to him, State governors must immediately put an end to further foreign trips except those they are personally paying for. The money saved from calling off future foreign trips should be assigned to other more pressing expenditures.
He said, “Even the bailout funds that the federal government provided to states were largely mismanaged by governors who would not cut back on their ostentatious lifestyles and snaking convoys.
“If the state governors continue to hide their incompetence behind the federal government, we fear the desperation in the land will soon force their citizens into the streets in their millions to protest against the system.”
The protesters were received by the Director of Press Government House, Mr Emmanuel Nanle who described the event as “a citizen action” call, saying any Governor who fails to take this seriously would be playing with fire.
Nanle described the Governor of Plateau State as a good governance ambassador who is ready to partner with serious stakeholders to develop the State.
He said he was not surprised at the turn out of the activists who have seen Plateau as the first point of call and maintained that the Plateau State Governor is the only governor who is not complaining like his other colleagues in the country but ensures on daily basis that he initiated laudable projects that will better the lives of the citizenry.
He urged the CSOs not hesitate to storm any government house where the Governor fails to perform his duties.