Houses of Assembly Speakers from the southern states on Sunday, pledged to enact necessary bills to back the 11th, May, 2021 declaration of governors from the region, including the ban on open grazing.
The Speakers, therefore, urged the governors to send bills to their respective legislature to address some of the issues raised in the communiqué, issued at the end of their meeting in Asaba, Delta State.
The Speakers, under the aegis of Association of the Southern States Lawmakers at the end of their meeting at the weekend, also supported the call by their governors for restructuring and national dialogue to address the skewed federalism as well as the call to address perceived imbalance in appointments into the security apparatus and other federal agencies.
The Speakers noted that issues raised by the governors were not new, and “are sacrosanct and a guarantee for justice, fairness and equity in the country”, adding that the Federal Government must act fast to address some of the demands.
The Speakers said: “We the Speakers of State Legislatures in Southern Nigeria commend the Governors of the Southern States for their patriotism and firm belief in the unity of the country.
“We salute the Governors for their initiative and restate our support for the positions of the Governors. We wish to state unequivocally that the issues canvassed in the communiqué are neither new nor strange; rather they require swift response from the Federal Government.
“The country is currently undergoing very challenging times and requires bold and audacious measures to stop it from sliding into abyss.
“We maintain that the positions of the Governors as contained in the communiqué issued on the 11th of May, 2021 in Asaba are sacrosanct and a guarantee for justice, fairness and equity in the country.
“We adopt all the positions in the communiqué and reiterate the call for the ban on open grazing of cattle in the South.
“We support the call for the restructuring of the country to enthrone true federalism and therefore the convocation of a National Dialogue is inevitable.
“That this will afford stakeholders from all parts of the country to table their prejudices and together, work out a sustainable relationship as one indivisible country.
“We pledge to deploy our legislative powers to strengthen the positions canvassed by the Governors.
“We also urge the Governors to send bills to the (respective) Legislature, where necessary, to address some of the issues in the communiqué.
“Finally, we thank His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State for providing the platform for the meeting of the Governors”.
The resolution was signed by Chief Sheriff F.O Oborevwori, Deputy National Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria; Mr Aniekan Bassey, Vice-Chairman South-South, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria; Francis O.Nwifuru, Vice-Chairman South East, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria; and, Prince Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo, Vice-Chairman South-West, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.