Southern governors demand power shift to South

Kick against removal of electronic transfer of results from Electoral Act amendment Bill.

Governors of the southern states reached a resolution yesterday that the region must produce the country’s next president by 2023.

The governors set aside partisan politics to make this demand at the meeting held in Lagos, the second in two months.

A communiqué of the meeting read by Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, said the governors took the decision that the next President should come from”the Southern region”, because “the Forum reiterates its commitment to the politics of equity, fairness and unanimously agrees that the presidency of Nigeria be rotated between Southern and Northern Nigeria”.

The meeting hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was a follow-up to their historic Asaba meeting hosted by Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on May 11.

The critical issues discussed at yesterday’s meeting included the worsening security situation, the proposed constitutional amendment, open grazing and the contentious Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), passed last week by the National Assembly.

Others included the Electoral Act, state police, criminal justice administration and national unity.

Eleven governors attended the historic meeting, ahead of a general elections in 2023, while four deputies represented their governors.

Two governors – Willy Obiano (Anambra) and Prof. Ayade (Cross River), who were absent, were not represented.

Apart from re-emphasising the need for state police, the governors resolved 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 Forum frowned at what it described as “selective criminal administration of justice” and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the law and fundamental human rights.

Reiterating their earlier position on open grazing, the governors “set a timeline, September 1, for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all member states.”

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) passed last week, the Forum commended the National Assembly for the efforts.

However, they rejected the proposed three per cent share of the oil revenue to the host community. They gave their support to the five per cent as passed by the Senate.

To consolidate democracy and strengthen the electoral process, governors rejected the removal of the electronic transmission of the election result from the Electoral Act.



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