Southern Governors reject selective justice, set September deadline against open grazing, insists on State Police
By Samuel Ogunsona
The Southern Governors Forum has set a deadline for an end to open grazing in the 17 Southern States
In a communique issued on Monday, the governors also condemned what it described as selective justice.
In the communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu adopted Lagos State as the capital of the Southern Governors Forum.
The Southern Governors’ Forum also focused on the current security situation, constitutional amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), administration of Justice system, open grazing and self determination.
The Governors re-affirmed their commitment to the unity of Nigeria on basis of pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.
The communique stated that 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 and resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the Southern Region.
The forum commends security operatives for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety and commiserates with families and loved ones of those who have fallen in the line of duty.
It re-emphasised the need for State Police and 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 frowns 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, 1st September 2021 for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all Member States.
It 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 commends the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the bill but rejects the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives.
They also rejected the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins;
However, the forum rejects the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) it also disagreed 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.
“To consolidate our democracy and strengthen the Electoral process, the Southern Governors’ Forum rejects the removal of the Electronic transmission of the election result from the electoral act; and also rejects 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 appreciated the Governor of Lagos State for the wonderful hosting of this meeting while commending him for his good work in the State” the communique stated.