Southern Governors Advocate Power Shift
Governors from the Southern part of the country, under the aegis of the Southern Governors Forum, have canvassed a rotational Presidency between Northern and Southern Nigeria, with a resolve that the next President must emerge from the South.
In order to consolidate democracy and strengthen the Electoral process in the Country, the Southern Governors’ Forum also rejected the removal of the Electronic transmission of the election result from the electoral act and that of the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court
The Governors of the seventeen States making up the Southern part of the Federation had converged on the Lagos House, Alausa Ikeja to discuss urgent national issues at the meeting hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Those in attendance are the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, that of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Rivers’ Nyesom Wike, Seyi Makinde, Oyo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Douye Diri, Bayelsa, Enugu’s Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom.
While the Governors of Anambra and Cross River were absent, that of Edo, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi were represented by their Deputies.
In a six-point Communique, the Governors re-affirmed their commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress, and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.
Presenting the communique, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu
said the Forum had set a timeline of Wednesday, 1st of September, 2021 for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all Member States; and resolved that Funds deducted from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the States and Federal Government to combat security challenges.
He said the Forum reviewed the security situation in the country and commends security operatives for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety and commiserates with families and loved ones of those who have fallen in the line of duty
The Southern Governors Forum re-emphasized the need for State Police; resolving that if for any reason security institutions need to undertake an operation in any State, the Chief Security Officer of the State must be duly informed;
Governor Akeredolu announced that the forum frowned at selective criminal administration of Justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights
On the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Law, the Forum commended the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the PIB but rejected the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives;
The Forum also rejected the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins; as well as the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
It disagreed that the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance but should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of Government have stakes in that vehicle.
The Southern Governors Forum unanimously chose Lagos State as its permanent secretariat.