Governors of the southern states of Nigeria converged in Lagos State on Monday to review the situation of the country and focused on the current security situation, among others.
The Southern Governors Forum Meeting held at Lagos House Sports Ground, Lagos House, Ikeja and hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a communiqué issued at the conclusion of the meeting, among others, resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the Southern Region, reiterated its commitment to the politics of equity, fairness and unanimously agreed that the Presidency of Nigeria be rotated between Southern and Northern Nigeria.
Also, the Southern Governors Forum reviewed the situation in the country and focused on the current security situation, constitutional amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Rising from the meeting, the Forum re-affirmed its commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.
On security issue, the Forum reviewed the security situation in the country and commended security operatives for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety and commiserated with families and loved ones of those who have fallen in the line of duty;
It, therefore, re-emphasised the need for State Police.
Among others, the Forum “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;
It frowned at selective criminal administration of justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights.
It also set a timeline of Wednesday, September 1, 2021, for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all member states; and
resolved that funds deducted from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the states and Federal Government to combat security challenges.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Law, the Forum commended the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the PIB;
rejected the proposed three percent and supported the five percent share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives.
It also rejected the proposed 30 percent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.
However, the forum rejected the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) while disagreeing that the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance but should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of government have stakes in that vehicle.
In order to consolidate Nigeria’s democracy and strengthen the Electoral process, the Southern Governors’ Forum rejected the removal of the electronic transmission of the election result from the Electoral Act; and rejected the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.
The Forum unanimously chose Lagos State as its permanent secretariat and commended the Governor Sanwo-Olu for the wonderful hosting of this meeting while commending him for his good work in the state.
Present at the meeting were Ifeayin Okowa (Delta) Nyensom Wike (Rivers) Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Represented the meeting were Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, by his Deputy, Philip Shuaibu; Imo Hope Uzodinma by his Deputy, Placid Njokwu; Abia Okezie Ikpeazu, by the Deputy Governor, Oko Chukwu, and Ebonyi Dave Umahi represented by the Deputy, Kelechi Igwe, among others.