Saturday, 7 May 2016

The 17 Southern Nigeria Governors and Leaders issues a threat to the North...

The 17 governors and leaders of thought in the three geo-political zones of the southern part of Nigeria have decried the incesant attacks by the fulani herdsmen including the proposed grazing bill, describing it as a permanent source of conflict across the country.
It will be recalled that the governors of southern Nigeria were behind the formation of the Southern Nigeria Peoples' Assembly in order to put up a united front to checkmate the activities of their Northern counterparts.

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In another related development, The leaders of the Southern Nigeria People’s Assembly (SNPA) issued a stern communique yesterday at the end of a three-day meeting in Asaba, Delta State capital.

Former Anambra State Governor Chukuwuemeka Ezeife stood in for Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme (Representing the South Eastern Nigerian); Senator Roland Owie stood in for Ijaw National leader, Chief Edwin Clark (representing South South Nigeria); and Senator Femi Okorounmu who stood in for Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi (Representing South Western Nigeria), among others were present at the meeting.

The governors through their various Elder statesmen; Ekwueme, Clark and Gbonigi explained that the bill portends danger to the nation as it will institute a source of permanent con­flict especially the federal structure of the country and the 1999 Constitution which vests power to hold land on the 36 states of the country and the minister of the Fed­eral Capital Territory.

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They deplored the ram­paging attack, raping and killing of innocent Nigerians in parts of the country by the notorious Fulani herds­men, and called on the Federal Government to set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate the criminal ac­tivities of herdsmen.

The leaders said: “The President should deal de­cisively with the issue of Fulani herdsmen in the man­ner government is dealing with the insurgency that if unchecked has the capacity to snowball to another Boko Haram.

Also, they warned the Northern Elders Forum to desist from infusing in the present administration, the “we and they” mentality which usually create division and confusion in the polity.

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“Consequently, he should set up a Judicial Panel of In­quiry to investigate all Fulani herdsmen attack between May 2015 till date and all those found to be directly or remotely involved in those attacks should be arrested and brought to book.”

The Southern leaders observed that the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to begin the implementa­tion of the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference was objectionable as the resolutions if implemented may help in resolving many political, socio-economic and security challenges of the country.

While calling on Nigeri­ans to support Buhari in his anti-corruption drive, war on insurgency and his ef­fort at reviving ailing industries, they however urged him to respect the rule of law, the protection of citizens’ fundamental human rights and the pronouncements of the courts.

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They advised that the war on corruption should neither be vindictive nor selective as selective justice amounts to injustice and the immediate release of all Nigerians which various courts have given bail and have subsequently met their bail condi­tions.

“The Northern Elders Forum should realize that President Muhammadu Buhari is the President of Nigeria and not the President of Northern Nigeria. The government is therefore for the entire Nigeria and programmes and projects should be for the overall development and growth of the country and not a section of it,” they said.

Expounded from The Sun

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