…Insist Next President Should Come From South …Reject Proposed 3% for Oil Communities, 30% for Exploration in Northern Basins …Slate September 1 for Promulgation of Anti-Grazing Law The Southern Governors Forum has strongly cast lot behind electronic transmission of election results, maintaining that it will further enhance fairness, openness and transparency of the country’s electoral
…Insist Next President Should Come From South
…Reject Proposed 3% for Oil Communities, 30% for Exploration in Northern Basins
…Slate September 1 for Promulgation of Anti-Grazing Law
The Southern Governors Forum has strongly cast lot behind electronic transmission of election results, maintaining that it will further enhance fairness, openness and transparency of the country’s electoral process.
A communique released after the forum’s meeting in Lagos on Monday, by its Chairperson, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, the Ondo State Governor, says, “To consolidate our democracy and strengthen the electoral process, the Southern Governors’ Forum rejects the removal of the electronic transmission of the election result from the Electoral Act; and also rejects the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.”
Their position is coming against feelers from the National Assembly that some senators mostly from the North, are angling for striking out electronic transmission of results from the new Electoral Act, which is likely to be passed this week. Their argument is anchored on the fact that most parts of the north are not connected to the internet.
But the Governors seem to share the view of a large section of civil society who see the antics of these senators as a way of encouraging rigging and manipulation of election results. They posit that electronic transmission of results like was witnessed in the last September governorship election in Edo State, and which was largely responsible for the transparency of the outcome, should be applied in future elections in the country.
Already, there’s heightening campaign to galvanize the people against the move to strike out transmission of results from the Electoral Act.
National Chairman, People’s Redemption Party (PRP), Mr Falalu Bello, who authored a piece titled, “CALL TO END ELECTIONS RIGGING IN NIGERIA,” and circulated to many Whatsaap platforms at the weekend, says,
“Please I urge everyone on this Platform and all you know to please NOTE this and ACT now.
“The National Assembly intends to pass the ELECTORAL ACT this week and unfortunately, the law they intend to pass is going to PROHIBIT Electronic Transmission of Results.
“What this means is RIGGING TILL ETERNITY. There are also other ridiculous provisions, but this explicit prohibition of transmitting results electronically from the polling unit so that they can continue to rig at the collation centres and write results is the most annoying.
“So please, send a text to Speaker Gbajabiamila and Senate President Ahmad Lawan that the people want to end election rigging in Nigeria and electronic transmission of results is what will guarantee the death of rigging. These numbers are their direct numbers Speaker – 09090000382
Senate President – 08021066458
“Please, just pick up your phone and send a text to the Speaker and Senate President and Call/Text your own representative in the National Assembly at this link that will give you their number – bit.ly/callnassonelectoralreform
“God Bless you as you rise to the challenge.”
While insisting that the next President of the country should come from the South, to ensure equity and fairness, the Southern Governors Forum also rejects conferring exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Courts.
To give bite to their earlier resolve to ban open grazing of cattle across the southern states, the Governors set a timeline of Wednesday, 1st September 2021 for the promulgation of the anti-open grazing law in all member states.
Re-affirming their commitment to the unity of Nigeria, the Governors however argue that this must be anchored “on the pillars of equity, fairness, justice, progress and peaceful co-existence between and amongst its people.”
“The Forum reiterates its 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.”
Commending the National Assembly on the progress made on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Southern Governors Forum rejects the proposed 3% and support the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives.
The forum also rejects the proposed 30% share of profit of the NNPC for the exploration of oil and gas in the northern basins. It also rejects the ownership structure of the proposed Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).
While disagreeing with the provision that the company be vested in the Federal Ministry of Finance, the forum canvassed that it should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of Governments have stakes in that vehicle.
The Forum reviewed the security situation in the country and commends 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;
Re-emphasisjng the need for State Police, the forum 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.”
In a veiled response to the handling of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, bandits and armed herdsmen with kid gloves by the Federal Government, unlike the harsh treatment meted to leaders of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and advocates of O’dua Republic, the forum “frowns at selective criminal administration of Justice and resolved that arrests should be made within the ambit of the Law and fundamental human rights.”
It also 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.
The Forum unanimously chose Lagos State as its permanent secretariat and appreciated the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo Olu for the wonderful hosting of the meeting while commending him for his good work in the State.
The meeting which was a follow up to its last gathering in Asaba, Delta State, reviewed the situation in the country and focused on security, constitutional amendment and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).