Today, the 17 Southern governors will meet in Lagos for the second meeting of the Gathering of the Southern Governors. Ikeja’s governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would be in charge of hosting the gathering.
Governors around the country, however, have been advised by critical stakeholders to ensure that the meetings are not misconstrued as “mere gatherings” where meaningless threats or decisions are issued.
According to the authors, the governors should consider convening stakeholders in the state legislature, as well as working with the state houses of assembly, and working with various social and political organizations in order to have their goal and objectives realized.
NADECO General Secretary Ayo Opadokun, Middle Belt Forum spokesman Dr. Isuwa Dogo, and former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alani Akinrinade (retired) all praised the governor’s decision to meet and confront the situation, especially in these difficult times. But they gave all of them the burden of seeking beyond just making resolutions.
Governor Akinrinade stated that because of the current political and economic issues Nigeria has, the challenges would persist for the next century, “unless something urgent is done. It is critical that you maintain your will for reformation.
He urged state governors to use political pressure to influence members of the National Assembly from diverse states to support restructuring.
Where in the National Assembly are Southern members working on reformation? They appear disinterested in it.
As a matter of necessity, he felt that the governors should, in consultation with Gbajabiamila, as well as the Southern senators, use their influence to compel the speaker of the House of Representatives to begin the debate on how to reorganize the country.
The general retired, and he said that the governors must be more assertive today at the conference in order to secure state police. I believe following today’s meeting, the governors should return to their states and start advocating for an increase in the Bill for State Police in their states. Their current demand should be for a fully functioning State Police force. They should also let President Muhammadu Buhari know that he must publicly express his views on the nation’s security.
Said Opadokun, the governors must put their words into action. He claimed that seventeen southern governors could not make declarations on their own. It is critical that the state Houses of Assembly draft and pass legislation incorporating the Asaba Resolutions in order to give the Resolutions a legal basis. It will gain credibility and be more effective if the governors engage with lawmakers.
As part of his manifesto, Dogo issued a challenge to the governors. To convince the National Assembly and each of the states’ assemblies to do as they are instructed, he encouraged them to ensure that their numerical strength is deployed to persuade the National Assembly and all of the states’ assemblies to make and recognize the 2014 conference resolutions.
States like Adamawa, Plateau, Taraba, Southern Kaduna, Sokoto, Kwara, and Kogi can also lend their help. Every single social and cultural organization in the state should unite to rally around restructuring and to help execute the conference report. President Buhari will be left with no alternative but to accede to their demands by the time this happens.
It is rumored that Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy for the State, confirmed that the meeting would discuss on such issues as security, real federalism, open grazing, and a restructured State Police, as well as food security.
Also throughout the meeting, it would cover the post-Asaba conference to see if any major success was realized.
With a possible all-out war on the horizon, practically all the governors are expected to be in attendance because of the current instability in Nigeria and how the states in the country are affected.
A House of Representative member who preferred to remain anonymous revealed that legislators from the north are watching Gbajabiamila very closely and would immediately move to impeach him if he does anything they believe threatens his region’s interests.
When governors from the 17 Southern states gathered in Delta State to meet with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the states came at a 12-point resolution, which included a ban on open grazing of cattle throughout the states.