For the first time all the 17 governors of the southern part of Nigeria have demanded the restructuring of the country while also calling for a national dialogue to rescue the embattled country from disintegration.
This was the outcome of the meeting of the 17 governors held today in Asaba, Delta state.
The meeting, which was held to deliberate on the worsening security situation in the country, held that only restructuring on the basis of true federalism is the panacea to the country’s many troubles.
In the communique issued at the end of the meeting and read by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, it was stated, “The meeting resolved that progress of the nation requires restructuring. Hence, it said steps should be taken to restructure Nigeria federation leading to evolution of state policing and establishment of other institutions that will advance true federalism.”
“The meeting recommended greater inclusiveness in governance, hence the federal government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency.”
Furthermore, the governors urged that appointments into federal agencies including military and police, should reflect the federal character principle, noting that Nigeria is “an ethno-religious state.”
Reflecting the mood of the nation and of their people especially, the governors also boldly asked President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on the security situation in the country.
“The meeting expressed concern over the security challenge in the nation and strongly urged Mr. President to address the nation on the state of security in Nigeria.”
Also, the states’ helmsmen reiterated their position on open grazing, positing open grazing and movement of cattle on foot are major causes of conflict and criminality in the region, “The forum observed criminal in Southern states, this has posed a severe security challenge and our people are not able to live normal lives, including pursuing productive activities, leading to threat in food supply. Consequently, the forum resolved that open grazing he banned across all the 17 Southern states.
“The meeting also banned movement of cattle on foot. It says FG should support states that are willing in livestock management.”
The forum added that they are committed to the cooperate existence of Nigeria but that it must be on “the basis of justice, equity and fairness and peaceful co-existence between and among Nigerians for economic development and prosperity.”