Nigeria @ 60: Progressive Governors reaffirm commitment to democracy, development

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The Progressive Governors Forum has said that it is committed to the country’s democracy, development and the wellbeing of the people.

The forum said this in a statement signed by its chairman, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, on Wednesday in Abuja, while felicitating with Nigerians as the country marks her 60th independence.

“We reaffirm our commitment to Nigeria’s democratic development on this auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence,” it said.

It commended and congratulated Nigerians for their resilience and faith in a united democratic country.

The statement noted that the country’s 60 years of independence and nationhood were years with moments of rasping experiences.

“Coming out of these years as a united country gives us all the reasons for celebration.

“This is especially so because we are today emerging as a stable democracy, having been in our fourth republic for 20 years now with six successful general elections.

“Therefore, emerging as a stable democracy, we can say with confidence that the growing confidence of our people to our fledgling democratic system of governance is indisputable,” it said.

The statement said that as governors elected on APC platform, they were committed to the principles that democratic governance should lead to improved welfare for the citizens.

This, it said, imposed a responsibility on all elected representatives to work for policies that promote the wellbeing of citizens while being guided by the party’s manifesto.

“Our government in all our states controlled by the APC and at the federal level have remained focused, implementing pro-people initiatives across all sectors.

“At a time when partisan affiliation is expected to influence political choices both with respect to government initiatives, beneficiaries and location, President Muhammadu Buhari is providing indiscriminate leadership.

“He is also ensuring that all Nigerians from all parts of the country irrespective of our differences receive equal treatment.

“Under the leadership of President Buhari, our politics is today being refined to ensure indiscriminate development of all parts of the country,” the statement said.

This, it said, was in addition to the fact that President Buhari was inspiring APC governors to change their political culture, especially in relation to electoral contests.

It added that this was unlike what was obtained in other political parties where the operative culture was to manipulate electoral contests to produce set outcomes.

“The environment in our party, APC, is being made more liberal, with such a liberal atmosphere, combined with impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“As a governing party, our electoral probity, in all elections, is even.

“We win or lose elections depending on our ability to convince the electorate to vote for our party and our candidates.

“And when we lose in a fair contest, we concede defeat and congratulate the winner, this is the next level politics already in play, championed by APC,” the statement said.

It appealed to politicians and political parties to embrace such new political culture in the country.

It assured that APC governors were committed to making their states models of good governance with records of rapid human development and progress founded on the principles of social democracy.

It said that such were in line with provisions of the party’s Constitution and manifesto.

“We shall continue to take all the necessary steps to roll out programmes in our states that will facilitate development of synergy, experience sharing and collaboration,” the statement said.

It further assured that the governors would continue to put in place programmes to improve the welfare and living conditions of Nigerians.

This, it said, was the basis of the party’s programmes for massive infrastructural projects both at federal and states levels.

It congratulated Nigerians as the country marked its 60th independence anniversary and prayed for many more years of democratic development.