Governors from the Southern part of Nigeria, under the umbrella of the Southern Governors forum, has unanimously resolved on issues of insecurity ravaging the region, as it banned all forms of open grazing in the South; including Cattle movement across the region.
The meeting was attended by 15 governors of the Southern Nigeria.
In attendance were Governors Ifeanyi Okowo of Delta, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Wille Obiano of Anambra, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, and David Umahi of Ebonyi.
Others were Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Babajide Sanwo Olu of Lagos, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Nyesom Wike.
While Hope Uzodinma was represented by his deputy, Prof Placid Njoku, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, Governors Gboyega.
Meanwhile, Oyetola of Osun, and Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers were absent.
A 12-point communique was read by the Chairman of Southern Governors Forum, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state.
It affirmed that “the People’s of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis off justice, fairness, equity oneness and peaceful coexistence between and among its people with the focus of 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 notable 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 conflicts between migrating herders and local population in the South.
“Giving 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 take to restructure the Nigeria Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formular in favor of the sub national government and creation of other institutions, which legitimate advance and commitment to practice of true free federalism.
“Recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various people for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the federal government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency; recommended that indeference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including security agencies) to reflect the federal character as Nigeria’s Overall Population is heterogenous.
“Resolved to fooster cooperation among the Southern States, and the nation at large, expressed concern on the continued grid lock 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 parts in other states of the Federation to create new jobs and promotes socio-economic activities in the country; the meeting expressed concern on the country; the meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lock down on the country, and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between federal and state government in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.
“Expressed very grave concern on the security challenges 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 genorosity and hospitality.”
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News