2023: THE SOUTH MUST PRODUCE THE NEXT PRESIDENT

The 17 Southern Govenors have unanimously agreed that for equality, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and among Nigerians, the next President should come from the South.

In a communique read by their forum’s Chairman, the Governor of Ondo State Rotimi Akeredolu, at the end of their meeting in Lagos on Monday, the Governors said they are committed to the unity of the country based on equity and fairness among other resolutions.

The Governors opposed President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand on the return to open grazing practiced during the first republic where herdsmen used designated routes to move around the country, thus they have set a September 1st 2021 dateline for the enactment of anti open grazing laws in all the states of the South.

The Forum also rejected the 3% share of oil revenue to host communities by the the Senate in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill – PIB instead of 5% proposed by the House of Representatives, 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins as well as the ownership structure of the proposed new Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited – NNPC.

The Governors equally rejected the removal of the electronic transmission of election results from the electoral act and confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.

The forum commended security operatives in the country for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety and commiserated with families and loved ones of those who died in the line of duty.

The Governors re-emphasized the need for state police and resolved that funds deducted from the federation account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund be shared amongst the states and the federal government to combat security challenges. In addition the forum frowns at selective criminal administration of justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the law and fundamental human rights. They further said 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.

The Governors also unanimously chose Lagos State as the forum’s permanent secretariat.

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