Full text of Southern Governors’ communique on elections, grazing, insecurity

July 5, 2021
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Governors of states in the Southern region of Nigeria met on Monday at the Government House in Lagos.

They met under the aegis of the Southern Governors’ Forum to deliberate on the state of the nation, weeks after a similar gathering at Asaba, the Delta capital.

In a statement issued at the end of the parley, the governors stated their position on several issues, including insecurity in Nigeria.

The chief executives rejected the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) passed by the National Assembly, and opposed the removal of electronic transmission of results from the Electoral act.

They set September 21, 2021 as the deadline for anti-open grazing law promulgation in member-states and rejected the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.

Our region will produce Nigeria’s next President – Southern Governors

The communique read by the forum and Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, also demanded that presidency be zoned to the South in 2023.

The full text is reproduced below:

“The Southern Governors Forum at the end of the meeting held on Monday, 5th July, 2021 reviewed the situation in the Country and focused on the current security situation, constitutional amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Rising from the meeting, the Forum agreed on the following:

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 and resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the Southern Region.

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.

4. Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Law: 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.

5. 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.

6. The Forum unanimously chose Lagos State as its permanent secretariat and appreciated the Governor of Lagos for the wonderful hosting of this meeting while commending him for his good work in the State.

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