The governors of the 17 Nigerian Southern states have placed a ban on open grazing and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on security challenges.
Though the governors met in Delta state Tuesday, May 11, they neither mentioned nor deliberated on financial autonomy for the judicial arm that prompted Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to embark on nationwide strike with effect from April 6, 2021.
In a 12-point communique read by its Chairman, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, the governors said the president should be fairer in political appointments, convoke a national dialogue, and accept the establishment of state police.
“Southern Governors expressed very grave concern on the security challenges currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.
We observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals, and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security.
Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria.
Agreed that the progress of the nation requires urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism.
In view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency.”
The Southern Governors expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.