Members of the minority caucus in the House of Representatives from the Northern States have endorsed the resolutions of the Southern Governors’ Forum, including ban on open grazing of cattle and call for restructuring of the federation, among others.
Seventeen governors from the southern states met in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday under the aegis of the SGF and issued a communiqué banning open grazing of cattle, called for the restructuring of the federation, and adherence to the federal character principle in federal appointments, especially into the security apparatuses of government.
They also asked the president to address the nation on pressing national issues, including the security challenges besetting the nation.
The 12-point communique was read by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
In a statement on Thursday, jointly signed by Amos Gwamna (PDP, Kaduna), Solomon Maren (PDP, Plateau), Rimande Shawulu (PDP, Taraba), Mark Gbillah (PDP, Benue) and Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP, Kogi), the northern minority lawmakers called on President Muhammadu Buhari to heed the recommendations of the southern governors and initiate a bill to kickstart the process of restructuring.
They also urged the President to reconsider his skewed appointments.
They said: “We, members of the minority from the North hereby call on President Buhari to heed the genuine advice of governors from the South and immediately address the nation to assuage frayed nerves.
“The president should also put machinery in place for the commencement of the process of restructuring the nation and initiate legislation to end open grazing, which has been at the centre of the lingering insecurity across the nation.”
They also noted that in order to regain the confidence of majority of Nigerians, President Buhari must begin to redress his “skewed appointments,” which they said have divided the nation along ethnic and religious lines.
They commended the governors for their boldness to speak against open grazing and for addressing other ills bedevilling the nation.
The Reps particularly lauded the foresight of the Benue State Government in enacting a law banning open grazing, an initiative that was closely followed by Taraba State.
They, however, expressed disappointment that the Federal Government has not given these states the desired support, thereby creating room for some elements to undermine the implementation of the law.