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Next President should come from the South – Southern governors

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The Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF) on Monday, insisted on rotational presidency, saying Nigeria’s president in 2023 must come from the South.

The forum agreed on the decision in a communique signed and issued by the Chairman, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), after their meeting at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

In the meeting, the SGF reviewed the situation in the country, focusing on the current security challenge, constitutional amendment, Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

It re-affirmed the forum’s commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.

”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.

”The forum resolved that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the Southern Region,” the communique read.

On security issue, it commended the security operatives for their relentless efforts in restoring security and safety, while commiserating with families and loved ones of those who had fallen in line of duty.

It further re-emphasised the need for State Police, resolving that if for any reason security institutions needed to undertake an operation in any state, the Chief Security Officer of the state must be duly informed.

According to the communique, selective criminal administration of Justice has to stop and arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights.

It noted that a timeline of Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 had been set for the promulgation of the anti open grazing law in all member states.

The communique said 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.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Law, it commended the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the PIB.

The communique, however, rejected the proposed three per cent and supported the five per cent share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives.

”The forum also rejects the proposed 30 per cent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins;

”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,” the communique read.

It also rejected the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.

The communique noted that the forum unanimously chose Lagos State as its permanent secretariat and commended the Lagos’ State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for hosting of the meeting and his good work in the state.

Governors in attendance were Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).

Others are Duoye Diri (Bayelsa), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom).

The Deputy Governors present were Philip Shaibu (Edo), Ude Chukwu (Abia), Placid Njoku (Imo) and Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi) representing their principals.

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