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PGF D-G calls for synergy to tackle COVID-19 challenge 

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 Mr Salihu Lukman,  the Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), has called for collective collaboration between the government and Nigerians to tackle Coronavirus challenge facing the country.

Lukman,  in a statement in Abuja on Friday,  said that COVID-19 challenge was more serious than citizen’s mindset that it was a problem that government must address.

He gave an instance of Dr Maurizio Cecconi, Head of Department of Anesthesia at Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy,  who advised the United States Government on the need for collective collaboration to tackle the menace.

“Cecconi advises the U. S government not to think that they can win the battle against Covid-19 by increasing capacity but it’ll take government and citizens helping out as well.

“That includes taking drastic steps like canceling major events, having employees work from home, and other moves to limit the spread of the virus.

“For us in Nigeria, it is far more serious given citizen’s mindset that the Covid-19 challenge is a problem that government must address,” PGF director-general said.

According to him, most commentaries in our media is largely about evaluating what government is doing or not doing.

“Even where government is able to respond positively based on what may appear to be agitating the minds of Nigerians as is the case with social distancing and lockdown, efforts by government to enforce compliance gets heavily criticised.

“We need to appeal to every person resident in Nigeria, both Nigerians and non-Nigerians, that tackling the challenge of Covid-19 requires very good synergy of initiatives between government and citizens.

“If advanced countries like US, Italy, France, Spain, UK, etc. are battling the virus with devastating consequences, it should be clear to us that the challenge is beyond infrastructural capacities such as hospitals, doctors, medical personnel, drugs and equipment.

“Yes, capacity is very much required but given the speed with which Covid-19 spread across the population, ability of governments to develop the needed capacity will be overwhelming,” he said.

Lukman described the current attitude of many Nigerians focusing on lamenting the state of health sector as misplaced and dangerous at this time.

He also also condemned what could appear to be the inhuman disposition of some citizens in celebrating the unfortunate high-profile cases of Covid-19 positive cases in the country.

“By all means, we can criticise our governments and our leaders, but we need to do that by demonstrating our commitment to contribute to the fight against Covid-19.

“This can be done through clear actions, recommendations and initiatives to mobilise citizens to also play their roles and obey government’s directives,” he said.  

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Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Felix Ajide
(NAN)

 

 

 

Abdulwahab Deji: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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COVID-19: President Buhari’s lockdown of 3 States in order – PGF D-G

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Mr Salihu Lukman,  the Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF),  said President Muhammadu Buhari acted in order by imposing a lockdown on Lagos, FCT and Ogun.

Reacting to a senior lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa’s criticism of President Buhari ‘s order, Lukman,  in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, said:”the lockdown of the cities declared by President Buhari was the right decision as human survival was at stake”.

He recalled that immediately the President announced the lockdown of these cities on Sunday, some legal experts and activists argued that the “Presidential Order not enforceable without legal backing.”

“Immediately following the speech of President Buhari on Sunday, March 29, 2020 announcing the lockdown of the three cities among other measures decided by the Federal Government to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus.

“ Adegborua SAN argued that the President was required to invoke his powers under the Constitution to declare state of emergency, which must be approved by the National Assembly.

“Mr Adegboruwa’s position was endorsed by many activist lawyers, including Mr. Femi Falana SAN who argued that Presidential Order not enforceable without legal backing,” the forum’s director-general said.

According to him,  the argument against the lockdown as declared by the President is on account of the lack of recognition of the emergency timeline which Covid-19 has imposed on the world.

“Leaders across the world are struggling to respond to this new timeline. Largely because it is a challenge that border on saving human life, citizens are required to work in partnership with governments.

“The government’s decision to lockdown these cities tends to focus attention on the moment of emergency and not on the afterlife of survival.

“It also tends to make us feel like everything is justifiable and there can be no cause for regret when our survival is at stake,” he said.

Lukman,  who said that the legality of decisions of government to lockdown these three cities with the highest potential to spread Covid-19 virus to every part of the country may only serve to distract the attention of government from the critical issue of ensuring effective response to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“Rather that asking the question whether locking down Abuja, Lagos and Abeokuta is sufficient to contain the spread of Covid-19, we are seeking to undermine the government.

“Good enough, our state governments are responding in a way that expand the jurisdiction of the lockdown to cover virtually all parts of the country.

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Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

 

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Buhari, APC governors, others to attend policy synergy parley in Jos – PGF DG

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President Muhammadu Buhari, 19 governors under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) and other relevant stakeholders will attend the third Federal Government-Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) parley on Policy Synergy, holding in Jos on Nov. 25.

Mr Salihu Lukman, the Director-General of PGF, said this in a statement issued on Tuesday, in Abuja.

He said that the parley was to ensure synergy between State and Federal Governments to reposition local governments for excellent service delivery, to achieve the fundamental goals of local governance.

According to Lukman, the parley, with the theme: “Strengthening Public Service Delivery”, will focus on five key areas: internal security, education, transport, health and social investment.

“The aim is to facilitate the development of a commonly-shared service delivery framework for local governments, effective oversight from states and synergy with the Federal Government.

“This will reposition the local governments for excellent public service delivery to achieve the fundamental goals of local governance,” the director-general said.

He added that the Ministers of Internal Affairs, Transport, Education, Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, and State for Health will make presentations at the parley.

“Some agencies under the above ministries like Primary Health Care Development Agency, Universal Basic Education Commission, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will join the ministers to highlight priority issues,” he said.

Lukman further said that these would be considered as components of the commonly-shared service delivery framework for local governments in all APC states.

“President Muhammadu Buhari will be the Special Guest of Honour. Participants expected at the parley include 19 progressive governors, principal officers of the National Assembly and APC legislators.

“Ministers of Internal Affairs, Transport, Education, Humanitarian Affairs and Minister of State for Health are also expected.

“Other participants are the EFCC Chairman, Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBE), Executive Secretary, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) and many other government functionaries from the 19 APC-controlled states,” he said.

Lukman said that at the end of the parley, some understanding would emerge on required actions needed to institute commonly-shared service delivery framework for local governments.

According to him, this will influence programmatic relations between the Federal Government and APC-controlled states in the area of strengthening local governance.

“Some new initiatives that APC states can act upon towards instituting new efficient management models will also emerge for the PGF’s further consideration and approval,” he said.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Ambode congratulates Fayemi, Bagudu on NGF, PGF

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Lagos,May 24,2019 Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has congratulated Govs. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi on their emergence as Chairmen of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) respectively.

Ambode, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Habib Aruna on Friday, described their emergence as fitting and well deserved.

He said that both being governors from the progressive fold was not only a positive sign for the party, but also a good omen for democracy in Nigeria.

“Let me congratulate my brother governors,  Fayemi and Bagudu on their election as Chairman of NGF and PGF respectively.

“Their emergence has come at a time when our democracy needs men with proven track record of progressive leadership and experience.

“Fayemi is a technocrat and development expert with a rich wealth of experience over the years and I am confident that he will galvanise the NGF to work with President Muhammadu Buhari to take the nation to the next level.

“Bagudu has also proven his mettle as a man of honour, a progressive to the core.

“Without a doubt, his emergence as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum will unite the party to be stronger, all inclusive, deepen the democratic institutions and provide the necessary support that Mr President requires as he continues to steer Nigeria to greater heights,” he said.

Ambode also urged other state governors to rally round both men and work together for the greater interest of the country.

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APC Governors laud Gambari’s appointment as Buhari’s Chief of Staff

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), under the platform of the APC, has lauded the appointment of Prof. Ibrahim 
Gambari, the former permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) as the new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. 


All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors in their congratulatory message signed by the PGF Chairman, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi in Abuja on Thursday, said Gambari’s appointment as CoS was well deserved.

According to the governors,  the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) congratulates Prof. Ibrahim Gambari on his appointment as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. 


“As Governors elected on the platform of the APC, we rejoice with you and on this auspicious occasion reaffirm our unflinching commitment to continue to work with Mr. President and all his dedicated team at federal level. 


“This is aimed at achieving the vision of our party of taking Nigeria to the NEXT LEVEL in line with all our campaign promises and provisions of our party’s manifesto. 


“Given your vast knowledge, experiences, discipline and loyalty to Nigeria, we are confident that your assumption as Chief of Staff will further inspire as well as challenge all appointees of the government to aim to achieve global standards, especially on matters of national development. 


“For us in the PGF, we are truly inspired by your leadership accomplishments, which is globally acknowledged and look forward to drawing immensely from your rich reservoir of experiences, insights and foresights in the management of governmental responsibilities.

 “Pursuant to our commitment to supporting President Buhari, you can count on our support, individually and collectively at all times,” the governors said. 

They also assured Gambari of the Progressive Governors Forum’s continued support and goodwill.  


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Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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APC Governors call for synergy on promoting child nutrition 

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), under the platform of the APC, has called for synergy between the Federal and State Governments to develop common policy initiatives toward promoting child nutrition in the country.

The APC governors made the call in a Communiqué issued in Abuja at the end of the teleconference meeting of Secretaries to Governments of All Progressives Congress (APC) states on “Developing Common Policy Initiatives on Promoting Child Nutrition” held on Thursday.

The Communiqué was signed by Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau and Gov. Mohammed Badaru of Jigawa, Co-Chairmen of PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee.

According to the governors, the issue of malnutrition and undernourishment is a social, economic and developmental challenge that must be addressed holistically.

“This is part of the nation’s commitment towards the attainment of the United Nations Social Development Goals (UN-SDGs) and meeting the target of zero hunger in the country by 2030.

COVID-19 pandemic has introduced entirely new dimensions to the crisis of nutrition by aggravating and widening the scope of the problem beyond the children, also to include the adult population.

“Therefore, PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee holds the teleconference meeting to review the details of the framework on promoting child nutrition in the APC states.

“The meeting is also aimed at providing necessary guidance to enhance the development of common policy initiatives in APC states and effective engagement of all stakeholders on issues of child malnutrition,” the governors said.

The PGF commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for the sustained support it had provided state governments since 2015.

It also called for stronger partnership to develop common policy initiatives on promoting child nutrition in the country, particularly in these challenging times.

According to the governors, increasing investment in child nutrition is essential to ensure good health and nutrition of children that will accelerate the attainment of the SDGs and zero hunger in Nigeria by 2030, within the shortest time.

“There is need for an improved commitment and political will towards improving child nutrition in the APC states.

“This can be achieved through enhancing resource mobilisation and incorporating in the annual budget both nutrition specific interventions and programmes and nutrition sensitive programmes.

APC state governments need to engage concertedly with critical stakeholders to explore cross-sectoral opportunities for child nutrition interventions at all levels.

“They should plan and implement nutrition policy interventions and programmes that will be sustainable and resilient to the impacts of COVID-19 and the associated economic fallouts,” the PGF said.

According to them, there is need to develop and strengthen legislation, policies, strategies and action plans with measurable outcomes for nutritional and related interventions, including pregnant women, youth, and other vulnerable households.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Kyari’s death: APC governors call for united action to stop COVID-19

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), under the platform of APC, has described the death of Malam Abba Kyari, as a call for Nigerians to be united in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, died on Friday from Coronavirus infection.

The forum Chairman, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, while extending condolence to the President, Kyari’s family and the entire nation.

Bagudu said: “We received the death of Malam Abba Kyari with heavy heart and gratitude to Allah (SWT) for a life well blessed.

“We, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), join the family, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), and the nation to pray for the repose of the soul of our dear and beloved Malam Abba Kyari.

“His death is a loss to the nation and the Nigerian progressive community.

“We pray to God Almighty to grant the family the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.

“May Allah reward all the good work of Malam Abba, forgive his limitations and bless what he left behind.”

According to the forum’s chairman, the death of Kyari is a further call on all Nigerians to be united in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

“As progressive governors, we, on this sad day, hereby, re-affirm our unconditional support to the laudable initiatives of the President Buhari-led Federal Government.

“We call on all Nigerians, irrespective of our political, religious, ethnic, social status or any other differences, to support the Federal Government in the fight against this deadly virus.

“We also call on all Nigerians to observe all the social distancing measures and stay safe,” he said.

Bagudu also saluted the efforts of all the nation’s frontline medical personnel, under the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in their fights against the spread of the pandemic.

“May God continue to guide our country and the world to succeed to bring to an immediate end this world pandemic.

“May the soul of Malam Abba Kyari rest in peace,” he said.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
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COVID-19 : D-G Progressive Governors Forum tasks PTF on enhanced strategy

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Mr Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), has called on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 Campaign to improve its engagement strategy to enhance the citizens’ ability to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Lukman also urged the PTF headed by Secretary to Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, to broaden the scope of its membership.

Lukman said: “Maybe it is the perilous nature of our orientation that is playing out.

“Unfortunately, it will appear that low engagement strategy by the PTF on the Covid-19 campaign is also reducing citizens’ ability to own the fight against the spread in the country.

“This is not in anyway passing any judgment on the leadership of the PTF in the fight against Covid-19, but to highlight areas requiring urgent attention to succeed in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

“What are these recommendations? First, the PTF needs to broaden the scope of its membership at two levels.”

According to him, it needs to approach the question of expansion based on the strategy of using communication to mobilise the participation of everyone, both governmental and non-governmental.

“Communication should not be about simply passing information to citizens about what government is doing.

“It should be more about accommodating the views and interests of Nigerians through their representatives.

“This can come about through the deployment of some approaches that allow identified representatives to interact with members of the PTF and through such interactions influence decisions.

“It is good to have all senior Federal Government functionaries driving the process and consulting other arms of governments – National Assembly and Governors,” he said.

Lukman said this could, however, be strengthened by going beyond consultations.

“The reality is that consultation alone, will hardly produce the needed ownership and synergy of initiatives, even within the governmental structures.

“In fact, one can argue that some of the critical observations of the leadership of the National Assembly from the session with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and more recently with the PTF on Thursday, April 9, 2020 is a confirmation of the limitations of consultations.

“What is required is that, depending on the terms of reference of the PTF as given by the President, the PTF should consider co-opting members of the National Assembly to join the committee.

“Similarly, is the issue of coordinating with states. The PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, has reported at least in two of its daily media briefing sessions that they have had teleconferencing with the Governors,” he said.

Lukman said that the reality of ensuring successful containment of the spread of Covid-19 would be hinged on the effectiveness of states to enforce measures around social distancing, including lockdown.

“Although, it is true that the Federal Government exercises jurisdiction over agencies of law enforcement, the truth is that our context law enforcement alone will not guarantee success.

“Some of the factors that account for this include the fact that our law enforcement agencies are already overstretched with all the problems of insecurity in the country.

“In addition, enforcement shouldn’t be simply about compelling citizens  but more about securing citizens’ consent to abide by government instructions.

“If state governments are to play their roles, there will be need to configure the PTF in such a way that it is able to accommodate the participation of state governments.

“This could lead to the issue of possibly organising the PTF into sub-teams deployed to each geo-political zone based on which Secretaries to State Governments and other nominees can be also coopted into the PTF,” he said.  (NAN)

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Oshiomhole @ 68: APC Governors laud party chairman’s commitment to national unity 

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for his commitment towards a united Nigeria.

The PGF Chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday to felicitate with Oshiomhole on his 68th birthday.

Bagudu said: “The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) joins all Nigerians to celebrate the birthday of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of APC, on his 68th birthday.

“We celebrate this special occasion with Your Excellency and your entire family.

“We in particular wish to acknowledge and commend your commitment to a united and prosperous Nigeria.

“We also acknowledge your contributions as one of the founding members of this Forum and continues inputs to the processes of managing governance in Nigeria.

“As our National Chairman, we join your family, our party members and all Nigerians to celebrate you,” Bugudu said.

Meanwhile, the PGF chairman has appealed to Nigerians to observe all the social distancing measures and stay safe, assuring that the forum is working to curtail spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We commend all our frontline medical personnel under the leadership of our Federal Ministry of Health and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“May God continue to guide our country and the world to succeed to bring to an immediate end this world pandemic,” he said.

Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Testing, contact tracing, isolation, best practice to address Coronavirus- Forum D-G 

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Mr Salihu Lukman, the Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has identified testing, contact tracing and isolation as the best practices to contain and manage the spread of Coronavirus.

Lukman, in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja, decried low number of those who had been tested in the country.

“As we try to emphasise the need to support our governments in the fight against COVID-19, we need to remind ourselves that at the moment the recognised best practice across the world is testing, contact tracing and isolation.

“These are realities that all governments across the world are facing, which include small number of testing equipment.

“This has accounted for why, as at March 29, 2020, less than 500 (in fact less than 300) tests have been carried out in the country.

“This is partly being used by some critics to suggest that the number of confirmed cases is only 111 because of the low number of those who have been tested,” he said.

According to him, problem of testing has created challenges that weakens capacity of nations to contain the spread of COVID-19 all over the world.

Lukman said that part of what non-governmental actors should bring to the table would be issues of strategy to ensure effective applications of best practices from other parts of the world.

He also urged Nigerians to desist from playing politics with Coronavirus disease, adding that they should have trust and confidence in the governments’ initiatives geared toward addressing COVID-19 challenge.

The forum’s director-general said Nigerians should borrow a leaf from Lee Hsien Loong, the Sigaporean Prime Minister, who said that people must understand and maintain trust in governments’ measures to address COVID-19 challenge.

Lukman, who described Singapore as one of the recognised successful countries to have controlled COVID-19, said Loong’s statement proffered solution to the problem facing the country.

“The position of Mr Loong underlines our problem in Nigeria, which is that we don’t trust our government and our leaders.

“With almost daily ministerial briefing by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and his team, the Sunday speech by the President should have given Nigerians the needed confidence to strengthen their belief about the commitment of government to fight and contain COVID-19.

“Instead, what we have is distrust and commitment to undermine initiatives of the government,” forum director-general said.

According to him, this will appear to be setting us up for failure in a way that will cost the lives of many citizens, which may include some of us that may unfortunately become infected by the virus.

“We deceive ourselves to imagine that some of us are free from the virus, on account of which we could be tempted to politicise the problem.

“It is an unconventional challenge such that the enemy, COVID-19, doesn’t respect politics, legality or recourse to any form of interest,” he said.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

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Tinubu @ 68: APC Governors laud Tinubu’s leadership,  commitment to nation’s unity 

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended the party’s National leader, Chief Bola Tinubu, for his leadership and commitment towards promoting a united Nigeria.

PGF Chairman, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday while felicitating with Tinubu at his 68th birthday.

Bagudu said: “The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) joins all Nigerians, to celebrate the birthday of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of APC on his 68th birthday. We celebrate this special occasion with Your Excellency and your entire family.

“We in particular wish to acknowledge and commend your leadership and commitment to a united prosperous Nigeria.

“We acknowledge your contributions to our team of Progressive Governors through your insightful and resolute inputs to the processes of managing governance in Nigeria as well as within our great Party, the APC.”

He said that as national leader of the APC, Tinubu certainly is a unifying and rallying point for all.

The forum also advised all Nigerians to stay at home and stay safe as relevant stakeholders continued to work towards overcoming the current COVID-19 global pandemic.

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Felix Ajide
(NAN)

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COVID-19: APC Governors call for investments in health sector 

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF)  has called for public investments in the health sector to manage and prevent Coronavirus from escalating  in the country.

PGF Director-General, Mr Salihu  Lukman, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday,  said the investments should cover provision of medical equipment and the development of healthcare personnel, medicine and research.

“At this early stage of the manifestations of the threat of Covid-19 in Nigeria, we need to take urgent steps to recover our humanity.

“We need to focus ourselves to ensure that our responses help in producing the needed changes that could protect lives of citizens, guarantee quality and accessible healthcare services.

“All these can only be achieved through high public investment in our health sector, which will also be partly dependent on similar high public investment in the education sector that will be required to produce the medical personnel,” Lukman said.

According to him,  it is true that our leaders have disappointed us over the years.

“It is also true that our leaders have, with hardly any exception, piloted the affairs of our country with submissive compliance to the philosophy that discourages public investment in health and educational sectors, at least since the mid 1980s.

“Most cases of public investments in these sectors prioritise construction of hospitals and schools or classrooms.

“In very rare instances, the limited investments cover provisions of medical equipment,” the director-general said.

He added that investments in development of healthcare personnel, medicine, research, teachers and books were hardly considered.

“Somewhat because effectiveness of responses will be determined by the quality of services provided by the health sector, initiatives around healthcare service delivery should be the focus of attention.

“Given the terrible state of our hospitals in Nigeria such that almost every citizen believes that to find cure for any sickness, major or minor, Nigerians have to go outside the country.

“Irrespective of our earnings or social status, it is a common belief across all divides in the country.

“As a result, everybody’s instinct, once faced with medical challenge is to mobilise financial resources, which many have to achieve through donations by family members and well-wishers,” he said.

Lukman said with Covid-19 dangers facing all countries equally, most of the countries that used to be destinations for Nigerians in search of medical services had shut down.

“Therefore, part of what could be the challenge facing us as Nigerians may be the issue of initiating processes of developing our health sector such that it is able to mobilise our leaders and citizens to work in harmony,” he said.

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Birthday: APC governors felicitate with First Lady, El-Rufa’i

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has felicitated with the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, and Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State over their birthday celebration.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, in Abuja on Tuesday, the APC governors said they joined Nigerians to celebrate the special occasion with the celebrants.

“The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has joined all Nigerians to celebrate the birthday of Her Excellency, Aisha Buhari. We celebrate this special occasion with you and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We wish to acknowledge and commend your motherly care to the nation.

“We particularly acknowledge your contributions to our successes through your insightful and resolute inputs to the processes of managing challenges of governance in the country.

“As First Lady, you have inspired us to develop initiatives to ensure that the change we promised Nigerians remained a shining light of our administration,” Bagudu said.

He also lauded the feats recorded by El’Rufa’i on his 60th birthday.

The forum’s chairman, who commended El’Rufai’s leadership, vision and commitment towards a united and prosperous Nigeria, also acknowledged his contributions toward providing good governance in Kaduna state as well as at national level.

“As Governor of Kaduna State, through all the development initiatives being implemented by your APC-led government, you represent the shining light of our politics!

“While rejoicing with Malam Nasir El’Rufa’i, we reiterate our commitment to roll out programmes that will strengthen the capacities of our progressive states.

“These programmes aim to create jobs, stimulate economic activity, reduce inequality and diminish poverty in Nigeria,” he said. (NAN,)

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Community policing will address insecurity, says APC Governors

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The Progressive Governors Forum, says community policing initiated by some state governments will complement the efforts of the Federal Government in tackling insecurity in the country.

The Governor of Plateau, Mr Simon Lalong, said this on Friday while briefing newsmen at the end of the first quarterly meeting of the forum’s Governance Programme Steering Committee Meeting in Abuja.

Lalong said the forum believes in community policing that operates within the ambit of the law.

Lalong, who is the co-chair of the committee, said the committee was preparing a framework to enhance good governance and address insecurity in the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled States.

“Here, we are not talking about Amotekun, we are talking about general insecurity, and once we lay the foundation for the APC states and it is approved, then we will begin to talk about implementation.

“What we are laying down now in the framework is general on insecurity, because we are not unmindful of the situation in the country.

“That is, for every year, we make a framework and tell them these are things that are current and these are things that APC governors should adopt in terms of preparing their budget and also in governance in their states.

“In general term, what we did after presentations from security agencies is, all of us appear to be talking about community policing. That one we are all agreed on.

“So, we don’t want a situation where you start doing something and the federal government will say you are doing it outside the law just like what they said about Amotekun.”

He said that the committee’s mandate was to design policies for implementation for good governance in APC states.

“As we pointed out during the inaugural meeting of this Steering Committee, from 2019-2023, we will want the work of the PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee to focus more on strengthening the capacity of our states to have increased commitment to implement approved initiatives.”

Lalong condemned the killing of students and religious leaders by the Boko Haram, urging Nigerians to be united in fighting insurgency.

Also, Co-Chairman of the committee and Governor of Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru, said that the progressives governors believed that each state knew what would work for it in protecting lives and property, depending on its peculiarity.

“On Operation Amotekun, I believe the Federal Government and the South West region can find some solutions. They are engaging in dialogue and I believe they will resolve it.

“I believe security situation is peculiar to each state, it depends on each state what they think will work for them. Some will want Amotekun, some dialogue, some may not need any.”

Badaru said that the APC adminstration was working had to tackle insecurity and corruption in the country.

“Above all the government is looking at social security to see how we can address insecurity and unemployment.”

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed

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APC governors forum urges Nigerians to defend judiciary

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APC governors forum urges Nigerians to defend judiciary

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By Deji Abdulwahab

Abuja,  Jan.  18, 2020 The Progressives Governors Forum (PGF)  under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Nigerians and lovers of democracy to rise to the defence of democratic institutions, especially the judiciary.

The call was contained in a statement issued by its Chairman,  Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, in Abuja on Saturday.

He described as depressing, a statement by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) proclaiming the Supreme Court judgment on Imo governorship election as a  “miscarriage of justice”.

Bagudu also condemned Secondu’s claims that the judiciary was “heavily compromised” and had “lost credibility” over the verdict.

“These are depressing allegations coming from supposedly democratic leaders who should ordinarily be in the forefront of protecting and defending the judicial institution as the sanctuary of our democracy.

“It is contemptuous and disrespectful to our democracy.” he said.

The forum’s chairman said, “this is most unfortunate and condemnable, we call on Nigerians and all lovers of democracy in the country to rise to the defence of our democratic institutions, especially the judiciary.

“We must prevail on the PDP leadership and all politicians to exercise restraint by demonstrating unalloyed loyalty and respect for our democratic institutions, particularly our judiciary, which is the most important pillar of democratic governance.

“To allege that a judgement delivered by Supreme Court Judges is procured simply because it does not favour the PDP is an invitation to anarchy,” he said.

According to him, it is on record that President Muhammadu Buhari has at all times stated his commitment to democracy and rule of law.

“Our party has lost elections we thought we will win. Equally, our party has been stopped from participation in elections by the judiciary, for example in Rivers State.

“The case of Zamfara where we won the election but the Supreme Court in its wisdom nullified all our votes and declared PDP candidates as winners is another experience.

“In addition, our party members have lost many cases, and even though our views differ from the judgement delivered, we do not disparage the judiciary, yet our views of the judgement differ from the court,” he said.

Bagudu, said the forum declared abiding faith in the nation’s judiciary, and would at all times respect all decisions of the courts at all levels no matter the circumstances.

“Our party and our members believe in the sanctity of our judicial institution as the last hope for justice for our people,” he said.

Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maharazu Ahmed

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APC Governors laud Supreme Court verdict on Uzodinma

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended the Supreme Court judgment declaring the party’s candidate, Mr Hope Uzodinma as winner of the 2019 governorship election.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Abubakar Bagudu, in Abuja on Wednesday, the forum congratulated Uzodinma on his victory at the Supreme Court.

Bagudu said that the judgment affirmed Uzodinma’s victory in the March 9, 2019 Governorship election in Imo state.

“We rejoice with you and the people of Imo State, and all lovers of democracy and justice in Nigeria in this rightly deserved victory that restored your stolen mandate.

“We in particular wish to commend your doggedness, resilience, commitment to the rule of law and abiding faith in the judiciary that culminated into this ultimate victory. It is victory at last for us all.

“We also congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari, our party leaders in Imo State in particular and national level as we welcome you to the fold of Progressive Governors as you take over the mantle of leadership in Imo state,” he said.

Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi

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Governors’ Forum condemns attack on Kogi community, condoles Gov. Bello

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The Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) has condemned the recent attack on Tawari community in Kogi and urged security agencies to bring to book those behind the dastardly act.

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, who is the Chairman of the forum, made the call while on a visit to Kogi Gov. Yahaya Bello on Wednesday in Lokoja.

Bagudu who was in the state to condole Bello over the death of his sister, Hajia Rabietu Bello, described the attack on the community as unfortunate.

He urged security agencies to up their strategies at nipping crime and criminality in the bud and ensure that those behind the dastardly act were brought to justice without further delay.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Bagudu was received in Government House, Lokoja, by Gov. Bello flanked by his deputy, Edward Onoja, and some top government functionaries.

Bagudu said he was in the state on behalf of the PGF to sympathise with Gov Bello over the recent loss of his sister and sympathise with the government and people of Kogi over the recent attacks.

The governor prayed God to repose the soul of the late Rabietu and grant Bello and other family members of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss of their loved ones.

He also prayed for the repose of the souls of the victims of the attack which led to loss of about 24 lives and destruction of property worth millions of Naira in Tawari community in the early hours of Friday.

Responding, Bello thanked Bagudu for the visit particularly for identifying with him and government of Kogi in their trying moments.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Isaac Aregbesola

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FG committed to improving welfare of Nigerians – Buhari

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President Muhammdu Buhari on Monday restated that the Federal Government was committed to improving the welfare of Nigerians.

Buhari stated this at the 3rd Federal Government -Progressive Governors Forum parley on policy synergy in Jos.

The President, who was represented by Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that his administration was proud of the achievement of bringing the nation’s economy back on track from recession.

He said that the economy had been placed on the path of growth and competitiveness in the last four years especially in the areas of human capital development, infrastructure development and prosperity.

“In recognition of the importance of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, I recently created a new ministry headed by a minister of full cabinet rank.

“This underscores the focus of my administration in ameliorating the challenges( present and future) faced by Nigerians, especially the vulnerable ones.

“Records abound to show that the Federal Government since 2015, has made tremendous progress in different sectors and we are determined to do more,” he said.

Buhari further said that the Federal Government was more determined than ever before to subdue the challenges of insecurity that had remained a big challenge for the country.

He said that his administration had come thus far in its achievements because of the unfaltering support and good will of the state governors.

” I am confident that together we will achieve our objective of building a united and prosperous Nigeria.

“Let me commend your contributions at sub-national levels, to the socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria.

“Analysis have shown that the economic growth is a product of the harmonious collaboration of all tiers of government, particularly in a federal set-up like ours,” he said.

The PGF Chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, said that the forum’s synergy with the Federal Government was aimed at improving governance and improving the lives of Nigerians.

Bagudu said that the parley was to reflect on those key areas the country was grappling with as challenges.

He recalled that the second FG-PGF parley in Birnin-Kebbi in 2017 focused on four key sectors; agriculture, economy, social protection and education.

According to him, this edition would critically assess transportation, health, education and humanitarian and disaster management.

Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau said that it was a great honour for the state to host the very crucial meeting organised by the Progressive Governors Forum whose focus was to strengthen public service delivery in APC States and the nation.

Lalong said that as an APC state, his administration was fully committed to the party’s vision of providing accountable, responsible and responsive leadership to the people.

Nigeria News Agency reports that eight governors, three deputy governors and two ministers and the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, attended the parley.

Edited & Vetted By: Bayo Sekoni and Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

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APC NWC upholds suspension of Edo party’s chairman

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The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has upheld the suspension of the suspension of the party’s  chairman in Edo, Mr Anslem Ojezua,  by 11 of 16 members of the State Working Committee (SWC).

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary,  Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party said that the party’s state working committee had fulfilled the required conditions after it reviewed the process that led to Ojezua’s suspension.

“The meeting of the NWC, which held today, at the Party’s National Secretariat received a notification of the suspension of the Edo APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua by 11 of 16 members of the Edo Working Committee (SWC).

“We have reviewed the process they followed and conclude that they have fulfilled the required conditions.

“We therefore uphold the suspension of the Edo APC Chairman, Anslem Ojezua while we await the outcome of the fact-finding and reconciliation committee,” Issa-Onilu said.

According to him, the NWC’s objective and cause of action is strictly to address the root causes of the disputations and reconcile all parties to make our great party even stronger.

The party’s spokesman said that the political development within the party ranks in Edo Swas deeply disturbed by the recent turn of events.

“We note that this is happening in spite of the various steps the party has taken to find an amicable resolution.

“We recall that party leaders such as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF),  Gov.  Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF),  Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi and other eminent party leaders,  had all tried at various times to ensure that the issues do not escalate.

“Sadly, these interventions have not yielded the desirable results.
“However, the immediate concern of the NWC is how to ensure that unity returns to the ranks of the party in Edo.

“In achieving this, we have decided to constitute a high-power fact-finding and reconciliation committee of party leaders to meet with all disputing parties to ensure that all issues are addressed and resolved,” he said.

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Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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APC Governors Forum inaugurates Media,  Communications Programme Steering Committee

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  The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has inaugurated a Media and Communications Programme Steering Committee to provide public/media engagement initiatives in all APC states.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who is the Chairman of the committee, said this on Thursday at the inaugural meeting of the PGF Media and Communications Programme Steering Committee in Abuja.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State is the committee’s co-chairman.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that the committee was inaugurated to support the Progressive Governors to achieve the vision of rolling out progressive public/media engagement initiatives in all APC states.
According to him, this testifies to the party’s commitment to issues of citizens’ participation as the necessary credential for the expansion of our democratic space.
Sanwo-Olu recalled that the PGF Media and Communication Steering Committee, during the 2015 – 2019 adopted a number of initiatives, which included the PGF Monthly Progressive Strides, online sectoral campaigns, and Town Hall Meetings.
“The forum recognise the fact that the successes and impact of these activities especially in relations to stimulating the envisioned public engagements in our states is constrained by factors.
“These may have to do with capacity gaps of state officials and associated issues of conservative mindsets, we however should be able to strengthen our capacity to rollout more progressive public/media engagement initiatives during this era 2019 – 2023,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said the mandate of the committee is to take closer look at issues of strengthening the capacities APC controlled states to implement approved initiatives.
ADA/ABI
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa
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Governors forum inaugurates committee to provide synergy between APC governors, lawmakers

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The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has inaugurated a Legislative Programme Steering Committee to ensure seamless synergy of engagements between APC governors and lawmakers across the country.
The Deputy Chairman of PGF, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu, said this at the inaugural meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Obaseki is the chairman of the committee while Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State is co-chairman.
Obaseki said that the committee was inaugurated to primarily provide PGF members with clear and concise contextual recommendations in terms of legal framework governing government processes and decisions.
According to him, the committee should monitor ongoing government operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information and recommend course of action to PGF.
“It is also expected to promote and advocate the interest of the PGF member states regarding laws, regulations, socio-economic policies and other developments that may affect our states and the APC as a whole.
“Further to this, is our recognition of the fact that the Legislature is the backbone of any democracy. No democracy can flourish except, and until its legislature is strong and progressively active.
“Part of the objectives of the PGF Legislative programmes therefore, is to ensure cordial relations between our legislatures and those of us operating in the executive arm,” Obaseki said.
According to him, our goal is to develop a good framework of engagement through initiating activities that would enable us to review emerging challenges regularly.
“It will also seek to manage and regulate all emerging differences such that conflicts between the executive and the legislature at all levels where APC rules are minimised.
“That does not mean that there would be no disagreements or conflicts any more in the future, because conflicts are inevitable outcomes of politics and political activities.
“But through the regular engagement and interactions between the Executive and the legislature, we will take steps to ensure that all emerging conflicts are resolved,” he said.
ADA/AMM/ABI
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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