Worried by the rising rate of insecurity, Southern governors met in Asaba, the Delta State capital, on Tuesday, and called for ban open grazing across Southern Nigeria.
The governors in a 12-point communique read by the Chairman of Southern Governors Forum, Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on open grazing in the South including cattle movement to the South by foot, due to the threat to food supply and general security.
They affirmed that the people of Southern Nigeria remain committed the unity of the country on the basis of justice, fairness equality and oneness and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.
The governors recommended that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.
According to the communique, the governors “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 people 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 people, there is need to review appointments into federal Government agencies (including security agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous
“Resolved to foster corporation among the Southern states and the nation at large.
“Expressed concern on the continued gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and the chokehold it has exerted on the nation’s economy being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf.”
It added: “The meeting therefore recommended daily activation and establishments of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promotes social economic activities in the country.
“The meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and corporation between federal and state governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.
“Express very grave concern on the security challenge currently plaguing the nation are strongly urged that Mr President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.”
Those in attendance include Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia; Willie Obiano of Anambra; Douye Diri of Bayelsa; Godwin Obaseki of Edo and David Umahi of Ebonyi.
Others are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo; Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Nyesom Wike of Rivers.
Hope Uzodimma of Imo was represented by his deputy, Prof Placcid Njoku; Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom was also represented by his Deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo while Governors Gboyega Oyetola of Osun and Ben Ayade of Cross River States were absent.