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PDP governors insist on ranching, seeks constitution amendment

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Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governors rose from a meeting on Monday in Ibadan, Oyo State, and insisted that ranching be adopted as a permanent solution to the herders-farmers clashes in the country.

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The meeting presided over by the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Sokoto state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, and attended by 10 of his colleagues as well as the Zamfara state deputy governor, Mahdi Gusau, equally charged the National Assembly to immediately amend the constitution to give effect to devolution of powers and state police.

In a communique read by Tambuwal, it was pointed out that “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 PDP governors also called for the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to states, “and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.”

On devolution of powers and state police, “the meeting called on the 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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It further stated that “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.”

According to the governors, “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 enjoined all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages.

It called on the 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 the earlier call by the PDP governors “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.”

Governors at the meeting are Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Governor of Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Enugu state Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, Akwa Ibom, Udoh Emmanuel, Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.

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Zamfara State was represented by the deputy governor, Mahdi Gusau. States not represented are Abia, Cross River and Taraba.

Announcing the objective of the meeting earlier, Tambuwal said the situation in the country called for everyone who is committed to the Nigerian state to put hands on deck, not only in prayers but also in action by working together to rescue this country.

Tambuwal said: “The meeting of the PDP-GF holding in Ibadan tomorrow is already holding a promise…We must not lose hope that Nigeria and Nigerians will triumph against the evil forces working against us.

“That is the promise the PDP is holding for Nigeria, by the grace of God, come 2023. We are on a salvation mission; and it is part of the reasons why we institutionalize this meeting, moving from one state to the other, going forward. We were in Benue, now in Ibadan. From here, tomorrow, we shall know where we’re going next.

“The situation in the country calls for everyone who is committed to the Nigerian state to put hands on deck, not only in prayers but also in action by working together to rescue this country,” Tambuwal said at the dinner.

According to him, it was part of the scheming of APC, which felt that it had no governor in the South-East to scheme the ex-governor of Imo state, Emeka Ihedioha, out of office. In his place, Hope Uzodinma was brought in. But God intervened and gave Edo to Gov. Godwin Obaseki, thus making the South-South solidly a PDP turf and rendering “APC a party without national outlook,” Tambuwal noted.

“With their scheming and shenanigans around the party (PDP),” they tried to manipulate the Edo election, the governor stressed. “It was God’s doing and a message both to the APC and Nigerians- that the APC is not a national party and it does not have national spread,” he added.

“It is, therefore, a Clarion call for our leaders and people of our country that we must work together to rescue the country,” the Forum’s Chairman further added.

Host governor, Oluseyi Makinde described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party without the requisite national spread.

“This is the difference between our party, PDP and the APC. If they try to have such a meeting they will not have a representative from the South-South.”


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