By Favour Goodness The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum rose from its meeting at the Lion Building, Government House Enugu on Thursday, without any mention the release of Nnamdi Kanu and detianed freedom fighter Sunday Igboho.
A communique issued after the meeting was a disappointment to majority who had high hopes in the meeting.
The meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in its previous meetings and further resolved and expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the states in Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti- Open Grazing Laws which align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors and encouraged the States that are yet to enact this law to do so expeditiously.
In a communique issued and read by the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, the forum encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safety of the region.
The forum also reaffirmed its earlier commitment to structural and fiscal federalism as resolved at its inaugural meeting held on May 11, 2021 at Asaba, Delta state and emphasized the need for the Southern states to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembly as well as representation in the National assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigeria Constitution through the ongoing constitution amendment.
The meeting however, resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states while expressing satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry ACT (PIA) and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
The forum maintained their earlier position that the next President of Nigeria must come from the Southern part of Nigeria in line with politics of equity, justice and fairness.
The Forum thanked the host Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and chose Rivers state as the next host for the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting expected to hold in November 2021.