Southern Govs. Call For Restructuring, National Dialogue, Ban Open Grazing

    L-R: Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke; Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; and Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu,

    Southern Governors rose from a summit in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday calling for the country to be restructured and the convocation] of a national dialogue.

    The governor also banned open grazing of cattle across states in the region and urged the President to address Nigerians on the state of the nation.

    The governors, in their communique at the end of the meeting also frowned at the lopsided appointment by the Federal Government, saying appointments must reflect the heterogeneous nature of the country.

    The communique reads: “Agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism;

    “Recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency;

    “Recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous.”

    The governors expressed concern over the influx of herders into the southern part of the country, “resulting in severe security challenge such that citizens are not able 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,” the communique added.

    The governors said they are committed to the unity of the country but only “on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.”

    Physically in attendance were the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Rivers State Governor, Nysome Wike; Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano; Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

    They were received by the host, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

    Some of the states and sub-regions have previously banned open grazing.

    In February, the Nigerian Governors Forum, representing all 36 states in the country, said it had reached a consensus on the “need for the country to transition into modern systems of animal husbandry that will replace open, night, and underage grazing in the country.





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