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2023: Governors renew calls for South to produce Nigeria’s next President

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The Southern Governors’ Forum on Thursday renewed the call for the region to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Enugu and signed by the Chairman of the Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; the governors said Nigeria’s next President must come from the southern part of the country in the spirit of equity, justice and fairness.

The meeting was attended by nine governors and seven deputy governors.

The governors at the meeting were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Doye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were – Placid Njoku (Imo), Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Phillip Shuaibu (Edo), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Prof. Evara Esu (Cross River), Ude Okochukwu (Abia) and Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi).

The governors had on July 5 demanded that the region should produce the next occupant’s of the nation’s highest political office in 2023.

READ ALSO: Southern governors declare support for collection of VAT by states

The forum declared support for the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) by states and charged governors to expedite action on the anti-open grazing bill.

It also expressed satisfaction with the handling of issues surrounding the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and ownership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

The communiqué read: “the Southern Governors Forum 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.

“We also encourage the full operationalisation of already agreed regional security outfits, which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate to ensure the security and safety of the region.

“The Forum reaffirms its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the Forum held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at Asaba, Delta State and emphasised 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 Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.

“The meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states. It also expresses satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act and ownership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

“The meeting reiterated its earlier position that the next president of Nigeria will come from the south of Nigeria in line with the politics of equity, justice, and fairness.”

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