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Details Emerge As Ibori, Igbinedion, Other Doyens Of 1999 Party Politics Meet Tinubu At Presidential Villa

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More details have emerged as President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, received members of the Class of 1999 Governors, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to multiple reports the visit was attended by 19 of the 36 former Governors; some of them have passed on.

Receiving the former Governors, President Tinubu assured Nigerians that the framework for palliatives to remedy the effects of fuel subsidy removal was being worked out.

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The President explained that the decision to phase out the subsidy was taken in the country’s best interest, and to guarantee future prosperity.

Eighteen of the former Governors were present at the Council Chambers where the President met them.

Tinubu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, also belong to the class.

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While appreciating his colleagues who served during the birth of the Fourth Republic in 1999, Tinubu appealed for more patience from Nigerians, saying the government would increase efforts to alleviate the pains of the subsidy removal speedily.

He said the government would ensure a fool-proof social security structure that would not be compromised, especially in cash transfer.

“I understand that our people are suffering, yet there can be no childbirth without pain. The joy of childbirth is the baby.

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“Relief comes after the pain, Nigeria is being reborn, it is a rebirth of the country for the largest number, over a few smugglers.

“Please tell the people to be a little patient, the palliative is coming. I am doing the arithmetic, I don’t want the cash transfer to fall into the wrong hands. I know it pinches and it is difficult.

“In the end, we will rejoice in the prosperity of our country,’’ he told the governors, who were led by former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion.

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Speaking on the importance of national unity and citizens’ cooperation to forge a stronger country, Tinubu stated that only Nigerians could build their country.

“We must put the country in the right direction. No European, no Bretton Woods Institution will do it for us.”

The governors visited the President to congratulate him on the victory at the polls, his visionary decisions on the economy, and election as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government.

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“We served as governors and sat in this Council Chamber. All I wanted was democracy and the salvation of the country, I never thought I was going to be here as President, but God Almighty has brought me here,’’ Tinubu stated.

The President assured the governors and Nigerians that he would work towards “unity, equity, stability, and prosperity of the country’’.

“My commitment to that democratic value is unwavering. I am overwhelmed and honoured by this large number present here.

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“I have an open door policy, you are my advisers. We went into the pond and wrestled with the pig, we got dirty, and cleaned up. That is why I am here today.’’

Tinubu noted that the country would not make meaningful progress without fixing electricity, assuring that his administration would harness gas resources and explore every opportunity to ensure stable power generation and supply.

On security, the President who had earlier met with Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno to review situation in the North-East, appealed to Nigerians, especially Plateau State, to sheath their swords and use dialogue in resolving conflicts, adding that issues of borders were man-made and not created by God.

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Why we visited Tinubu – Igbinedion

The NewsGuru reports, the former Governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion, who spoke on behalf of the former Governors, said the visit was to assure Tinubu of their support and cooperation.

The former governors urged the President to pursue his vision for a greater Nigeria with vigour, steadfastness, and resilience.

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They expressed their support for development policies, and promised to provide the necessary social structure for actualization.

“We are here with you, we are your foot-soldiers, and you can tap into our experience. You are a person who believes in Nigeria, with your good leadership, Nigeria will take its place,’’ Igbinedion, the Chairman, Class of 1999 Governors said.

While briefing newsmen, Igbinedion went further to say: “We met the president as a colleague governor that laid the foundation of the current democracy in Nigeria in 1999, which has continued to strengthened up to today.

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“We also congratulated him on his election and thanked him for appointing one of us as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (George Akume).

“We spoke about security, about electricity supply because these are key factors in development of any economy. He assured us of the administration’s preparedness to tackle them headlong,” he said.

Igbinedion said that the former governors took cognisance of the fact that now is the time to separate politics from national development, adding that all hands must be on deck to rebuild Nigeria now.

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“We are now talking of the project Nigeria and not about political affiliations. It is time to work for the progress of the country.

“The president assured us that it is his dream to see a better Nigeria where all citizens will feel a sense of belonging. He also said that Nigerians should be patient with recent decisions taken by the administration.

“We also acknowledged that the issue of fuel subsidy removal is a right decision and palliative should be provided which he is already taking measures.”

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He affirmed that they were 20 at the meeting, including Tinubu, who was former Governor of Lagos State and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, former Governor of Benue State, while 10 of their mates had passed on.

Other governors at the meeting were; Niyi Adebayo, Ekiti, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, Abia, Sen. Sam Egwu, Ebonyi, Adamu Muazu, Bauchi, Donald Duke, Cross River, James Ibori, Delta, Obong Victor Attah, Akwa Ibom, Chimaroke Nnamani, Enugu State, Saminu Turaki, Jigawa, and Sen. Adamu Aleiro, Kebbi.

Others were Olusegun Osoba, Ogun, Adebisi Akande, Osun, Sen. Joshua Dariye, Plateau, Attahiru Bafarawa, Sokoto State, Ahmad Yarima, Zamfara and Rev. Jolly Nyame, Taraba.

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