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PDP governors demand devolution of power, state police

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors on Monday demanded devolution of power to states.

In a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Oyo State, and read by the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, the governors also declared their support for the ban of open grazing by the Southern Governors’ Forum, fiscal federalism and state policing.

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council to evolve and implement strategies to address their current insecurity in the country.

The Nigerian Police Council comprises the President, the governors and other critical stakeholders in the country.

The governors implored the National Assembly to expedite action on the Electoral Act to ensure free and fair elections in the country.

The meeting was attended by governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).

Zamfara State was represented by the deputy governor, Mahdi Mohammed.

The communiqué read: “The meeting called on Mr. President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian Constitution to devolve more powers to the States with respect to security arrangements culminating in some form of State Policing and the general security architecture.

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“In the interim, Mr. President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr. President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing. The meeting agreed that the Police Force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.

“The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders / farmers clashes in Nigeria; the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States; and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.

“The meeting enjoins all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages. To this end, the meeting called on the incompetent and rudderless APC Government to take bold and deliberate steps to de-escalate and lower tensions in our country, and concentrate on projects and policies that will enhance and promote national unity and cohesion.

“The meeting re-iterated our earlier call for the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that will ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.

“The meeting thanked the Host Governor, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State for being a gracious and wonderful host, and congratulated him for the many landmark developmental projects he has executed and urged him to continue to work with all stakeholders in the South-West Zone to ensure that PDP takes over majority of the States in the Zone.”

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