By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have thrown their weight behind devolution of power and the ban on open grazing.
The governors met in Ibadan, Oyo State on Monday on the state on the nation, particularly the worsening state of insecurity across the country and the parlous state of the economy.
In their communiqué at the end of the meeting, the governors said President Muhammadu Buhari must as a matter of urgency send a Bill to the National Assembly to amend the constitution by conferring more powers to the state, especially in the area of security arrangement.
The communiqué reads: “The meeting called on Mr President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the States with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of State Policing and the general security architecture.
“In the interim, Mr President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr. President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing.
“The meeting agreed that the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.
“The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria; the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States; and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.
“The meeting enjoins all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages. To this end, the meeting called on the incompetent and rudderless APC Government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country, and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.
“The meeting re-iterated our earlier call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.
The meeting was attended by: Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto)– Chairman, Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta). Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (Oyo)
Others are Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), and Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohd (Zamfara).