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2023: It’s South’s turn for president or nothing – Southern govs

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… Insists on electronic transmission of results

… Rejects the proposed 3% share of oil revenue to host communities

By Maureen Ikpeama 

THE meeting of governors of southern states that held in Lagos today under the auspices of Southern Governors Forum recommended the rotation of the office of president and commander-in-chief of Nigerian Armed Forces be zoned to the south in the next general election slated for 2023.

Describing it as political masterstroke to defuse tension in the polity, the governors also rejected removal of electronic transmission of electoral results from the Electoral Act.

  The demands were contained in a communique issued at the end of the meeting just moments ago.

Reading the communiqué on behalf of others, Chairman of Southern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu said the governors came up with the resolutions after reviewing current security situation that notch up the country’s political barometer and make the demands as the only way to nip it from escalating further as well as consolidate the country’s democarcy.

  According to the communiqué,   the governors also support constitutional amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) amendment but reject 3% share of oil revenue to host communiities.

  “The Southern governors took the following decisions:

 1.  Re-affirmed their commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.

2.     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.

3.     Security: a.     The Forum reviewed the security situation in the country and 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;

b.     Re-emphasised the need for State Police;

c.     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; d.     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; e.     

Set a timeline of Wednesday, 1st September, 2021 for the promulgation of the anti open grazing law in all member States; and f.      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,” the communiqué reads in part.

 Continuing, the communiqué said the governors opt for 5% share of oil revenue for host communities as receommended by House of Representatives.

“i.           The Forum commends the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the PIB; ii.           the Forum rejects the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives;  

iii.           the forum also rejects the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins;     iv.           However, the forum rejects the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC). The Forum disagrees 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 our democracy and strengthen the Electoral process, the Southern Governors’ Forum reject 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,” it stated further.

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