The outgoing chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, has said that given the assistance President Muhammadu Buhari has given to the states, governors have the obligation to cooperate with him in his second term in office.

Yari, whose tenure as NGF chairman ends in May, told State House correspondents in Abuja yesterday that the next leadership of the forum must work along the president’s agenda.

He recalled that the present membership of the forum cooperated with Buhari who, he said, was magnanimous enough to provide bailouts which enabled the states to pay workers’ salaries.

On the type of NGF leadership he would like to see after him, Yari said: “I will like to see a leadership that will perform better than I did; the type that will work in tandem with the presidency.

“I appreciate my colleagues for giving me the cooperation and within the forum, there was no break up, and there was no crisis between the presidency and the forum.

“We worked together for our economy to grow and to support the president on his agenda to fight corruption and insecurity.

“You are fully aware of what the president has done for the states, the bailouts to ensure that workers can be paid their salaries. We are all from the states including Mr. President.

“I can give the governors pass mark. Mr. President has commissioned a number of projects in the states, sometimes he sent representatives.

“So, I hope the NGF will remain united and work in tandem with the federal government’s agenda.”

The governor, who has just been elected a senator to represent Zamfara State, attributed his electoral victory and that of the governorship candidate who he supported, to his ability to manage the direct primaries adopted by his All Progressive Congress (APC).

He explained: “I have said it times without number, I am the first chairman, who oversaw the pioneer direct primaries in Osun State with 18 candidates contesting for the governorship position of the state. They were all high profile candidates including the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, many former permanent secretaries, the speaker of the state House of Assembly, and the secretary to the state government (SSG).

“I have said it repeatedly that if my colleagues can accept direct primaries, it is the simplest system that will involve every member of the party,” Yari said.