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State of the Nation: Southern Governors call for restructuring, ban open grazing

 

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For the very first time since 2015, Southern Nigeria Governors comprising South-South, South East and South-West geopolitical zones spoke with one voice, calling on President Mohammadu Buhari, to address the people of Nigeria, on the state of the nation.

In the same token, the governors agreed to ban cattle open grazing in Southern Nigeria, while condemning the criminal activities of Fulani herders across the country, saying that increasing rate of criminality and acute insecurity can no longer be tolerated, particularly in Southern Nigeria.

The resolution of the meeting which was read by the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, stressed the urgent need for restructuring of the country to include; state police, review of revenue sharing formula between federal and state governments, creation of institutions for the attainment of federalism.

The governors also called on Mr President and the federal government to convoke a national dialogue for the review of appointments into federal agencies to reflect federal character, as a potent cure to the obvious lopsided appointments witnessed so far under Buhari administration.

The need for interstate economic and security cooperation was also emphasised, while agreeing that Nigeria must remain united on the basis of equality of persons, consolidation of the principles of equity, social justice, shared goals and oneness of purpose in terms of national security, peaceful coexistence; and urged the federal government to urgently tackle the criminal activities of Fulani herders and bandits which had posed severe threat to food supply and general security in the country.

The meeting called on President Buhari and the federal government to support willing states in Southern Nigeria, to introduce modern live stock management system, and support the prohibition of open grazing and unrestricted movement of cattle and herders into Southern Nigeria, so as to end the criminal activities of herders and bandits in the three geopolitical zones, and by extension other parts of the country.

The highly complicated traffic gridlock along Oshodi-Apapa expressway and environ was addressed by the meeting, and the governors agreed that the federal government must of a necessity tackle the problem by establishing additional ports in some other states, so as to decongest the Lagos-Apapa Ports, noting that new ports will create additional jobs and also increase revenue base of governments.

The governors were in high spirit, rose from the meeting and headed for Abuja, suggestive of further interface with Mr President to drum up federal government support for the resolutions of the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum.

The meeting expressed gratitude to the governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, for being a fantastic host, and for his generosity and kind hospitality.

It is hoped that the governors will remain united, and to consistently drive their collective tasks and shared goals to fruition, going forward.

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