SOUTH TELLS BUHARI “COVOKE NATIONAL DIALOGUE”

GOVERNORS in the 17 states of southern Nigeria on Tuesday demanded that the President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd), should address the country on mounting security challenges and restore the confidence of the people.

The governors, who held a four-hour meeting in Asaba, Delta State, chaired by the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, resolved to ban open grazing in their domains.

“Agreed that the growth If the nation requires that urgent and bold steps to be to taken to restructure the Nigerian federation, leading to the developmentnt of state police, review of revenue alloca procedure of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our responsibilitylity to and practice of true federalism. The southern governors expressed very serious concern on the security challenge currently besetting the nation and strongly advised that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.

The communiqué read in part, and I quote “The forum affirm that the people 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 people with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

“We observe 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.

“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 chief executive officers demand that the Federal Government should review appointments into government agencies to reflect the federal character, saying Nigeria’s overall population was heterogeneous.

The southern governors also expressed interest on the economic significancess of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between federal and state governments in evolving aolicies for dealing with the pandemic.

The meeting was chaired by the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Governors in attendance were Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).

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