Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, demanded the devolution of powers to states, following the heightening tension and insecurity across Nigeria.
The governors who issued a communique at the end of a meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, deliberated on worsening insecurity, thereby asking President Muhammadu Buhari to sign an executive bill to the National Assembly on the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution.
As a solution to the raging farmers-herdsmen clashes, the governors also backed the decision of the southern governors on open grazing and restructuring.
Seventeen governors in the southern region, in a communiqué at the end of a meeting in Asaba last week, banned open grazing and nomadic pastoralism across the South.
Part of PDP governors’ demands was also an urgent meeting of the Nigerian Police Council on the implementation of strategies to combat the recurring attacks on police officers, while urging the federal government to make their welfare its priority.
They further called on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to make policies that will foster national unity and cohesion.
Read the full communique below:
The PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM met in Ibadan, Oyo State on Monday, 17th May 2021, further reviewed the State of the nation, particularly, practical next steps to take to advance the conversation on the worsening security situation and collapsing economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. At the end of the one-day consultative meeting, the Forum, issued the following Communique.
1. The meeting called on Mr President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the States with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of State Policing and the general security architecture.
2. In the interim, Mr President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing. The meeting agreed that the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.
3. The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria; the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States; and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.
4. The meeting enjoins all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages. To this end, the meeting called on the incompetent and rudderless APC Government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country, and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.
5. The meeting re-iterated our earlier call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.
6. The meeting thanked the Host Governor, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for being a gracious and wonderful host, and congratulated him for the many landmark developmental projects he has executed, and urged him to continue to work with all stakeholders in the South West Zone to ensure that PDP takes over majority of the States in the Zone.