17 Southern Governors back Nigeria’s unity, seek restructuring

Seventeen Southern governors seemed to knock out secessionist calls on Tuesday when they restated their commitment to the unity of the Nigeria. The governors, however, seek the restructuring of the country, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments, amongst others.

This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of the governors of Southern Nigeria in Asaba, Delta State.

The governors, amongst other things, also banned open grazing, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to convoke a national dialogue to address widespread agitations amongst various groups in the region.

The communiqué signed by the 17 governors partly read, “At its meeting, held today, 11th May, 2021, the Southern Governors Forum reviewed the situation in the nation generally and focused on the current security situation, agitations/restructuring, prospect for inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as on the incidence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising from the meeting, the Forum:

“Affirmed that the peoples of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economíc development and prosperity;

“Agreed that the progress of the nation requires that 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;

“Recommended that 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;

“Recommended that in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogenous.”

Lately, secessionist calls have increased across the country especially in Southern Nigeria. From the Indigenous People of Biafra to agitators of Yoruba Nation, amongst others, the separatist calls rise, fueled by the unprecedented insecurity in the country as well as the supposed nepotism and unequal distribution of economic resources by the Buhari government.

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