Southern Governors Issue 12-Point Communique On Unity Of Nigeria, Open Grazing, Restructuring, Others

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From Left: Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo; Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ebonyi’s David Omahi, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Chairman, Southern Governors Forum and Govenor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos, Enugu State’s Ifeanyi Ugwanyi, Imo Deputy Governor, Placid Njoku; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia in a photograph after Southern Governors meeting at Government House, Asaba. Tuesday

The decision of the southern governors to ban open grazing was contained in a 12-point communiqué read by the cordinator of the forum and governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.

VANTAGE NEWS reported that the governors at the end of the meeting held at the Government House, Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday also called for restructuring of the country.

Some other issues discussed in the communique include; restructuring, unity of Nigeria, and security.

Akeredolu, said, “The forum affirmed that the people of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of the country on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its people with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

“The forum noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the south. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the south (including cattle movement to the south by foot).”

“The forum recommended that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

“The forum also agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism.

“The forum recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency.

“The forum recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various people, there is a need to review appointments into federal agencies (including security agencies) to reflect character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous

“The forum resolved to foster cooperation among the southern states and the nation at large.

“The meeting expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Lagos, and the chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf. The meeting therefore recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.

The meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country, and therefore, suggested greater coordination and cooperation between federal and state governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.

“The forum expressed very grave concern on the security challenges currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.”

See communique below:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA, DELTA STATE ON TUESDAY, MAY 11TH 2021

At its meeting held today, 11th May, 2021, the Southern Governors Forum reviewed the situation in the nation generally and focused on the current security situation, agitations/restructuring, prospect for Inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as the on the incidence of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Rising from the meeting, the Forum –

1. affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity, and oneness and peaceful coexistence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity,

2. observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminalsand bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general insecurity. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing be banned across Southern Nigeria,

3. noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations in the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot),

4. recommended that the Federal Government should support WILLING States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

5. agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of State Police, review of the revenue formula in favor of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism.

6. recommend that in view of the widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency,

7. recommend that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous,

8. resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large. In this connection, Secretaries to the Governments of the Southern States are to work together to develop and institutionize a mechanism to foster this cooperation which advance the comparative economic advantages and other interests of Southern States,

9. expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway and chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf. The meeting therefore recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the Federation to create new jobs and promote socio economic activities in the country

10. the meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therfore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic

12. expressed very grave concern on the security challenges plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people, and

13. expressed gratitude to our host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his generosity and hospitality

His Excellency,
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN
Governor, Ondo State

His Excellency,
Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu
Governor, Abia State

His Excellency,
Mr. Udom Emmanuel
Governor, Akwa Ibom State

His Excellency
Chief Willie Obiano
Governor, Anambra State

His Excellency
Senator Diri Duoye
Governor, Bayelsa State

His Excellency,
Prof Ben Ayade
Governor, Cross River State

His Excellency
Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa
Governor, Delta State

His Excellency
Engr Dave Umahi
Governor, Ebonyi State

His Excellency
Godwin Obaseki
Governor, Edo State

His Excellency
John Olukayode Fayemi
Governor, Ekiti State

His Excellency,
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Governor, Enugu State

His Excellency
Senator Hope Uzodinma
Governor, Imo State

His Excellency,
Babajide Sanwo Olu
Governor, Lagos State

His Excellency
Dapo Abiodun
Governor, Ogun State

His Excellency
Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola
Governor, Osun State

His Excellency
Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde
Governor, Oyo State

His Excellency
Ezenwo Nyesom Wike
Governor, Rivers State

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