Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma and Information Mohammed Idris yesterday defended the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos.

Uzodimma and Idris argued that the relocation made a lot of economic sense, given that Lagos is the hub of banking and aviation activities in the country.

They lent their voices to the controversy generated by the movement of the offices.Senate Chief Whip and Deputy Chairman of Appropriation Committee Ali Ndume ignited the debate by warning that “political consequences” would follow the relocation. He swore that the measures would be reversed.

While the governor the relocation of the departments made a lot of economic sense, Idris said it was wrong for anyone to allege the action had a political undertone.Uzodimma, who spoke on the television, said: “I listened to Ali Ndume, I listened to the Northern Senators’ Forum, I listened to the Emir of Kano. You can see the preponderance of opinions. and then, the majority opinion is that merit should be the driving criterion for decision-making in the country.

“The main aviation hub is in Lagos and if the operation’s department is sent to Lagos to be able to manage aviation operations effectively, I have not seen any ill in it.

“If you move the operations department of FAAN to Lagos to supervise airlines, it makes economic sense.

”Uzodimma, who chairs the Progressives Governors’ Forum, accused opponents of sponsoring a “campaign of calumny” against Tinubu because of his administration’s policies. Uzodinma, who also argued that it was too early to “judge” the performance of the President, said Nigerians would soon begin to hail him for his comprehensive reforms.

He said: “I am the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, five states; I am the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, 20 governors; and we are unanimous in supporting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that he succeeds in rescuing the economy, in rescuing this country, in making sure that we live according to the expectations of our founding fathers.

“I can tell you, seven months or eight months into his four-year mandate is not enough to judge him. So, why the hurry?

“Some people are suffering from anxiety cirrhosis. Some people are not able to come to terms with the reality on the ground.“I am confident. I have my belief that if this man is not able to get this country correct, then, something must be wrong.

”Describing the removal of fuel subsidy and unification of the foreign exchange windows as the “passwords to entering the system,” the governor accused “cabals” for being behind the socio-economic challenges facing the country.

In Abuja, Information Minister Idris warned those causing harm in the country to desist misinformation and division.

Idris cited the relocations of the CBN and FAAN departments as examples of issues where such forces had deployed falsehood.

His words: “For example, it is not true that the relocation to Lagos of the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and of certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), are political moves aimed at marginalising a section of the country.”

“These allegations are unfounded. Instead, these are pragmatic administrative steps to improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs.

“I would like to urge all Nigerians to be especially mindful of all persons and groups at home and abroad, who specialise in making false and inciting claims on radio, TV and social media, as well as in peddling altered videos and images for viral dissemination.

“We must all stand together as one against these forces that constantly seek to test and break the bonds that hold us.

”The minister reminded Nigerians that the task of achieving “our desired society should not be left to the government alone.”

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