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More of the points made in their communique on May 11 is further highlighted below;
vi) “…in view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency…”The southern governors may have erred on this point of calling for another national dialogue. One question to ask the executive arm of government is how many of the recommendations of past national dialogues have been implemented or written into the constitution. The more important matter is the tool put in place to adopt the recommendations of a national dialogue into the constitution and not conducting several useless national dialogues.
vii) “…in deference to the sensitivities of our various peoples, there is need to review appointments into Federal Government Agencies (including Security Agencies) to reflect federal character as Nigeria’s overall population is heterogeneous…”The imbalance in the appointment of personnel into federal institutions is one point threatening the unity of the nation and further heightening tension. All of the nations security officers are occupied by Northerners – in a country operating on federal character principles, the South have enough grounds to protest this imbalance.
viii) “…Secretaries to the Governments 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…”In order to foster cooperation among the Southern States and the nation at large, it has been suggested that a more cohesive connection be instituted among the Secretaries to the Governments of the Southern States.
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The cooperation is to further capitalise on economic cohesion rather than anything political.
ix) “…the meeting therefore recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other States of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country…”The continued gridlock on the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway being the sole outlet from Apapa Wharf has placed a self-imposed chokehold on the nation’s economy. It was recommended that the federal government ensure that other seaports in the nation be upgraded to the capability of Apapa port.
x) “…therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.”Southern governors are aware of the negative implications the lockdown had on the people in their respective states. It now appears to the governors that the total lockdown imposed last year during the peak of the pandemic may not be necessary any longer considering the environmental peculiarities of Nigeria.
xi) “…strongly urged that Mr President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.”The security challenges currently plaguing the nation has affected the economic outlook of the states negatively. The southern governors are not only calling on the president to reassure Nigerians that the security challenges will be surmounted, but that active steps will be taken to flush out bandits and terrorists disrupting the daily business of the people. Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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