House of Reps’ Members Back Southern Governors’ Resolutions


House of Reps’ Members Back Southern Governors’ Resolutions

Members of the House of Representatives from the 17 states in the southern part of Nigeria have given their support to the stance of the governors from their states on anti-open grazing, restructuring, the worsening insecurity and other issues affecting the country.

The federal lawmakers, in a release, said they unanimously took the decision to support the resolutions of the southern governors, after due considerations.

Recalled that the southern governors had, at a meeting held in Asaba, Delta State, on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government to convoke a national dialogue to restructure the country.

Among others, the governors, in a communique issued after the meeting, banned open grazing in their various states and also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on the challenge of insecurity plaguing the country.

They had resolved that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the country to pave way for the evolution of state police and review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the states.

The federal lawmakers from the southern states said their decision to support the governors “is in firm restatement of our insistence that our nation must exists and governed on the platform of democratic tenets of social justice, equity, fairness, mutual respect, true federalism, rule of law and constitutional order.”

They declared their readiness and willingness to deploy all legislative instruments at their disposal for the actualisation of the stated goals

“Against this backdrop, the members of the House of Representatives from the South, without regard to any other affiliations, firmly support our governors on the immediate ban on open cattle grazing across the Southern Nigeria.

“We hold that such is a sure step towards checking the infiltration of bandits, armed herders and terrorist elements which has heightened security challenges, with escalated killings and bloody attacks on innocent citizens, while crippling social life, economic activities and food production in the region.

“We therefore support the recommendation that the Federal Government should provide alternative and modern livestock management that does not constitute a security and economic challenge to the nation,” they stated in the release.

The platform of southern members in the House of Representatives also declared its support for governors’ demand for true federalism through restructuring.

The lawmakers said such “will lead to the devolution of power, creation of state police, review of resource control and revenue allocation formula, as well as strict adherence to federal character principle in federal appointments in the shared interests of the federating states.

“As lawmakers, we affirm that such is the only guaranteed way to ensure fairness, justice, equity to engender national stability, productivity and peaceful co-existence and we support an urgent national dialogue in that regard.

“We caution certain individuals kicking against such devolution of power and review of revenue control and allocation formula to desist from their vested parochial interest.

“We also note that such reviews are the only way to stabilise our nation, engender regional or state productivity and heathy development at all levels.

“Furthermore, our platform commends our governors for the concern for the asphyxiation of economic activities in the Southern Nigeria resulting from the continued congestion in ports in Lagos and the gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.

“This challenge has led to loses in billions of naira to businesses and other economic activities in the industrial and commercial activities of not only in the Southern Nigeria but the nation at large.

“We therefore firmly back the demand for the establishment and activation of other ports in other states of the federation, particularly in the South where such services are in very high demand.

“As lawmakers, our platform assures of our readiness to deploy our legislative instruments to ensure speedy achievement of the reforms and constitutional amendments that will guarantee a restructuring towards the practice of true federalism in our country.

“We are rallying our colleagues from other parts of the country in this direction. We urge all Nigerians to see the larger picture ensure that all hands are on the deck to move our nation to the right direction.

“Our platform applauds our governors for their patriotism and courage while commending Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State for hosting his colleagues in their quest for solutions at this critical time in our nation history.”

The release was signed by 22 lawmakers on behalf of the entire southern members of the House of Representatives, among whom are Honourables Ndudi Elumelu, Peter Akpatason, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Toby Okechukwu, Adesegun Mujid Adekoya, Dolapo Badaru, Jimoh Ojugbele, Femi Fakeye Segun Odebunmi, Mayowa Akinfolarin and Olufemi Bamisile.

Others include Honourables Oluwole Oke, Victor Nwaokolo, Kingsley Chinda, Essien Ekpeyong Ayi, Fred Agbedi, Francis Charles, Patrick Asadu, Lynda Ikpeazu, Sylvester Ogbaga, Nkem Abonta and Jerry Alagboso.