SOUTHERN GOVS TO ENFORCE ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW, SEPT 1, 2021; RESOLVE ON STATE POLICE, SOUTHERN PRESIDENT IN 2023; REJECT 3% OIL REVENUE TO HOST COMMUNITIES PROPOSED BY NAT. ASSEMBLY IN PIB

L-R: Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and host Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) during the Southern Governors meeting in Lagos, on Monday, July 5, 2021

Governors of Southern States of Nigeria, under the aegis of Southern Governors Forum (SGF) have demanded that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the South.

The demand is part of the 6 point communique of the Forum that met at the Lagos State Government House on Monday.

Reading the communiqué after the closed door meeting to journalists, the Governor of Ondo State and Chairman of the Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said the demand is in keeping with the principle of equity and fairness.

The forum set Wednesday, 1st September, 2021 as timeline for the promulgation of the anti open grazing law in all Southern States of Nigeria.

SGF also rejected the removal of the Electronic transmission of the election result from the electoral act because it will frustrate the consolidation of the nation’s democracy and by extension strengthen the Electoral process.

Also, the rejection extended to the declared confirmation of an exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.

The Forum restated its stance in support of state police, while also commending security operatives for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety across the country.

According the the communique, the governors commiserate with families and loved ones of security operatives who have fallen in the line of duty.

Governor Akeredolu, also read that the Forum commended the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) law.

The Forum, however, rejected the proposed 3% and endorsed the 5% share of the oil revenue, as recommended by the House of Representatives, that should be given to the host community.

The communique, according to the forum’s Chairman, also rejected the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

It disagreed with the position that such power over the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The Southern Governors also agreed that the company should rather be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of Government have stakes in that vehicle.

Present at the meeting were the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Chief Emmanuel Udom, Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Governor of Osun State, Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola.

Others were the Governor of Ogun State, Oluwaseyi Abiodun, Governor
Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Diri Duoye of Bayelsa State and Governor John Olukayode Fayemi, of Ekiti State

Also in attendance were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

Edo, Imo, Abia, Anambra and Ebonyi States were represented by their Deputy Governors.

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA AT THE LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE, IKEJA, LAGOS STATE, ON MONDAY, 5TH JULY, 2021 NIGERIA.

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-emphasized 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 State for the wonderful hosting of this meeting while commending him for his good work in the State.

Signed:

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN
Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum

Southern Governors at the end of the meeting held in Lagos, on Monday, 5th July, 2021

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