- Reject 3% Revenue To Host Communities By Senate Inside PIB
The Southern Governors’ Forum has backed the loud call for the adoption of rotational presidency arrangement in the country, giving its nod to the popular advocacy for a southern president to emerge in the upcoming 2023 presidential poll.
The Southern Governors stated this in a communique issued by the Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu at the end of its meeting at the state house in Ikeja, Lagos State.
As the general election is fast approaching, many political analysts and Nigerians have been speculating about which region should produce the next president, while many had advocated that the 2023 presidency should go to the south.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who is from Kastina State in Nigeria’s northwest would have completed his maximum number of eight years come 2023. Hence, there is a convergence of opinions that power should shift to the south in 2023 to respect the much talked-about unwritten gentleman arrangement on power rotation to preserve the unity of Nigeria and promote equity and justice in a nation that’s currently witnessing an upsurge of secessionist agitations
The Governors reached a consensus that the the presidency of Nigeria should be rotated henceforth between North-South while the next president of the country must be a Southerner.
Also, the southern governors have jointly set September 21, 2021, as the deadline for the promulgation of anti-open grazing law in the region, notwithstanding the strong criticism coming from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami.
Recall the Governors had at a meeting held in May in Asaba, Delta State banned open grazing in the entire South.
According to the Governors, it was observed that the incursion of killer herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge, leading to their resolve to ban open grazing of cattle across Southern Nigeria.
Also, the Southern Governors during the meeting rejected the proposed 3% share of oil revenue to the host community by the Senate while they supported the 5% share recommended by the House of Representatives in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Recall that the Senate during plenary last Thursday, gave a nod to 3% of the oil revenue to the host community despite debates from southern lawmakers for an upward review of the host community fund to 10 per cent to address the developmental deficits in the oil communities and overall quell agitation in the Niger Delta region.
The meeting which was hosted by Lagos Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu had in attendance Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).
Others are Duoye Diri (Bayelsa); Emeka Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).
Deputy Governors Philip Shaibu (Edo), Ude Chukwu (Abia), Placid Njoku (Imo) and Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi) represented their principals.
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River who recently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to join the All Progressive Congress (APC) was notably absent from the meeting.
- Read full Communique below
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN
Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum