By Bamidele Lawson
Governors of the Southern part of Nigeria has rejected the removal of electronic transmission of results from the Electoral Act This is contained in a communique issued after the meeting of the Southern Governors Forum on Monday, July 5, 2021, at Lagos State Government House, Alausa, Ikeja.In the communique, which was signed by its Chairman, Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN) of Ondo State, Southern Governors in their review of the present situation in the country stated that to consolidate Nigeria’s democracy and strengthen the Electoral process, they reject “the removal of the Electronic transmission of the election result from the electoral act.” They equally rejected the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court. Reaffirming their commitment to the unity of Nigeria on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people, the Southern Governors reiterated their “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.”The Southern Nigeria Governors also reviewed the security situation in the country and commended “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.”
They also re-emphasised the need for State Police, just as they 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.”The Governors, however, expressed their disagreement with the “selective criminal administration of Justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights.”On Open Grazing, the Southern Governors set “a timeline of Wednesday, 1st September 2021 for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all Member States; and 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.”Making their stand on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Law known, the Forum praised the National Assembly for the progress made in the passage of the PIB.
It, however, rejected the “proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives.”The body of Governors also rejected “the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.”The forum further rejected 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.”At the end of the meeting, the Southern Governors 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.”