Restructuring & Ban On Open Grazing: Southern States Legislatures Back Their Governors

Governors of Southern states of Nigeria during their recent meeting where they decided that enough was indeed enough with the lopsidedness in Nigeria

As a follow up to the resolutions of the forum of Governors of Southern States of Nigeria the Southern States Legislatures, at the weekend also declared their support for the 17 governors’ resolution calling for restructuring and banning open grazing in Southern part of the country.

The association of the Southern states lawmakers also threw its weight behind the southern governors’ call for national dialogue and respect for Federal Character in military and other federal appointments.

Rising from their meeting at the weekend, the Speakers commended the Southern Governors “for coming together to speak with one voice”, saying the resolutions of the Southern Governors were pathways to resolving the plethora of problems facing the country, including insecurity.

They said that the issues that prompted the resolutions reached by the governors in the recent meeting in Asaba were too well known to all Nigerians, that all that was required was for the Federal Government to take appropriate steps urgently to address the issues canvassed by the southern governors.

Moreover, the lawmakers vowed to use their position to give the resolutions by the governors the needed legislative muscle or support, stressing the imperative of a National Dialogue.

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 communique 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 communique 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 communique 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 communique.

“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 Speakers’ 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.

The governors of the 17 southern states had, in a communiqué at the end of a meeting in Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday, taken far-reaching decisions on the state of the nation, including resolutions to outlaw open grazing and a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to covoke a National Dialogue on insecurity and federal character implementation, among others.

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