Highlights of the Southern Governors conference in Asaba

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At its , held 11th May, 2021, Southern Forum reviewed situation nation generally and focused on the current situation, agitations/restructuring, prospect for inter-state collaboration and partnerships as well as on the incidence the .

Rising from , Forum:

i) affirmed that the peoples Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity Nigeria on the basis 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;

ii) observed that the incursion armed herders, criminals and bandits into the Southern part the country has presented a severe challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general . Consequently, the resolved that of cattle be banned across Southern Nigería;

iii) noted that development and population growth has put pressure on available land and increased the prospects of conflict between migrating herders and local populations the South. Given this scenario, it becomes imperative to enforce the ban on the South (including cattle movement to the South by foot);

iv) recommended that should support WILLING States to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems;

v) agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula favour of the sub-national and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism;

vi) recommended that in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency;

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

viii) resolved to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large. In this connection, Secretaries to the of the Southern States are to work together to develop and institutionalize a mechanism to foster this cooperation which will advance the comparative economic advantages and other interests of the Southern States;

ix) 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. The meeting therefore recommended the activation and establishment of in other States of the federation to create new and promote socio-economic activities in the country;

x) the meeting expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country, and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State in evolving strategies for dealing with the ;

xi) expressed very grave concern on the security challenge currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.

Vanguard News Nigeria