Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused President Goodluck Jonathan of emptying the treasury of the country.
Speaking on Tuesday after meeting with Muhammadu Buhari, the president-elect, in Abuja, the governors lamented that both the federal and state governments were finding it difficult to pay salaries as a result of the current economic situation.
Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state and chairman APC governors’ forum, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, appealed to Nigerians to support the government of Buhari.
“We must say that the economy is bad, let’s face the fact. Most governors are not able to pay salaries and there is no magic any governor can do to pay salary under the present situation.
“We intend to take that up with the president-elect to inform him of the challenges before him, to prepare his mind to know that there are a lot of challenges that the states are facing in terms of payment of salaries, including federal government.
“Here, you have an incoming president coming to meet almost an empty treasury, which tells you the challenges we have ahead of us.’’
According to Okorocha, the APC governors and as well as the governors-elect have decided to meet to also review the just concluded 2015 general election.
This, he said, would enable the party and its elected officers to strategise on the best possible approach to tackle the country’s challenges.
“Basically, what we did was to review the just-concluded election and we have congratulated one other and it’s on record that today, APC has 22 governors-elect, while we are looking forward to getting more by the time we finish with the court processes.
“So, this is the first introductory meeting to know one another and to discuss all that took place in the last election, the challenges, the merits and demerits.’’
He said that some of their colleagues had embarked on holiday and medical checks to enable them regain their strength after the tedious electioneering campaigns.
He also said that the presence at the meeting of Bukola Saraki, who is aspiring to be the next senate president, was not in any way connected to who will emerge president of the senate or speaker of the federal house of representatives.
“Senator Bukola visited during our meeting, but we did not discuss the issue of who becomes the senate president, or who becomes speaker of the house of representatives.
“Our mission is to familiarise ourselves and look at the state of our economy and see how we can meet the president-elect and make some suggestions on what he can do to move Nigeria forward.’’
The meeting was attended by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state; his Nasarawa counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura; Kaduna state governor-elect, Nasir El-Rufai; and Aminu Tambuwal, speaker of the house of representatives who is also the Sokoto state governor-elect.
Others present were Rauf Aregbesola of Osun; former Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi; deputy governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje; and John Oyegun, the chairman of APC.