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Full Text: Southern Governors Meet In Delta, Send Strong Message To Buhari

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The Southern Governors Forum at the end of its meeting held in Delta State on Tuesday, 11th May, 2021 has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the security situation in the country and speak directly to Nigerians.

The Governors also noted that the activities of armed herdsmen in the southern part of the country is a serious security challenge that needs urgent attention as innocent citizens are being killed and their properties destroyed.

They also called on the Buhari administration to take bold steps on the issue of restructuring while declaring their support for state police.

These decisions were part of the 12-point communique issued and read by the chairman of the forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State at the end of its four hours meeting held in Asaba, the Delta state capital.

The meeting was attended by governors from the 17 southern states of the federation.

The full text of the communique issued at the end of their meeting reads:

“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 on the incidence of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Rising from the meeting, the Forum:

“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 co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity;

“Observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and 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 security. Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria;

“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);

“Recommended that the Federal Government should support WILLING States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems;

“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;

“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;

“Recommended 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 heterogenous;

“Resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large;

“Expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway 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;

“Expressed very grave concern on the security challenge 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; and expressed gratitude to our host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his generosity and hospitality.”

The statement was signed by;

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor, Ondo State

Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor, Abia State

Chief Emmanuel Udom, Governor, Akwa Ibom State

Willie Obiano, Governor, Anambra State

Senator Diri Duoye, Governor, Bayelsa State

Prof. Ben Ayade, Governor, Cross Rivers State

Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor, Delta State

Engr. Dave Umahi, Governor, Ebonyi State

Godwin Obaseki, Governor, Edo State

John Olukayode Fayemi, Ekiti State Governor,

Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor, Enugu State

Senator Hope Uzodimma, Governor, Imo State

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor, Lagos State

Dapo Abiodun, Governor, Ogun State

Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola Governor, Osun State

Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde, Governor, Oyo State

Ezenwo Nyesom Wike Governor, Rivers State

Meanwhile, the Pan Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Tuesday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign honourably.

Speaking during the 95th birthday of the leader of the group and the dedication of a church in the honour of Chief Reuben Fasonrati, the Acting leader, Ayo Adebanjo, asked Buhari to resign over his administration’s inability to address insecurity and economic challenges.

Pa Adebanjo accused the federal government of failing to address the increasing wave of insecurity and downturn of the economy.

The Afenifere leader stated that Buhari’s government could no longer handle the situation, adding that this is the best to resign.

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