By Okafor Ofiebor
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has unanimously backed Southern governors’ ban on open grazing as a panacea to the herders/farmers clashes in the country.
The governors, who met in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Monday to further review the State of the nation, particularly, as it concerns the worsening security situation and the country’s collapsing economy, maintained that ranching remains the most viable solution to the herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria.
In attendance were: Gov. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, (Rivers); Gov. Udom Emmanuel, (Akwa Ibom); Gov. Douye Diri, (Bayelsa); Gov. Samuel Ortom, (Benue); Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, (Enugu); Gov. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, (Delta); Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintini, (Adamawa); Gov. Godwin Obaseki, (Edo); Gov. Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and the Deputy Gov. Mahdi Mohammed, (Zamfara).
Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who read the 6 point communique at the end of the one-day consultative meeting, advised President Muhammad Buhari to immediately send an executive bill to the National Assembly to amend the country’s Constitution to devolve more powers to the States, with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of State Policing and the general security architecture.
“In the interim, Mr President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing.
“The meeting agreed that the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.”
The PDP Governors reiterated their earlier call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.
The forum said it was in support for the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States; and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.
They enjoined all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages.
“To this end, the meeting called on the incompetent and rudderless APC Government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country, and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.”
The PDP governors commended Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for the many landmark developmental projects he has executed, and urged him to continue to work with all stakeholders in the South West Zone to ensure that PDP takes over majority of the States in the Zone in 2023.