The South-South governors have presented new demands to the Buhari government, insisting on what it must do urgently.
Nigeria online news reports that South-South governors and leaders have presented new demands to the government of President Buhari, insisting that Nigeria must be restructured along the lines of true federalism and the devolution of powers to the federated units.
The leaders and people of the region made the demand in a consultative meeting with a delegation from the Federal Government at Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers.
The president of the South-South Governors Forum and Delta Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who presented the region’s lawsuit, said the nation is not at peace because the country has not practiced true federalism.
He noted that now is the time to restore the country to a true federation with all the attributes and nuances of a federal state.
In his words, “For us in the South-South, the #ENDSARS protest is a metaphor for almost everything that is wrong with us, our refusal to adequately understand problems and absorb and strengthen the virtues of justice, equity and equity.
“The previous system of true federalism was discarded and created a powerful center that controlled and distributed all resources unevenly.
“There is now a strong desire to restructure the country to ensure peace, security, stability and progress for the nation.
“The region demands a true federalism and devolution of powers to the states, including the creation and management of their own police and security architecture, a true fiscal federalism guided by the principle of derivation, distribution of income and control of resources by each state. “, said.
Okowa also lamented the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy and uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who refused to understand the unique challenges of the South-South region, especially the degradation of the environment and the pollution of its waters.
South-South governors present new demands to the Buhari government (full list)
“All that we demand and ask for is justice and equity and while we await actions to restructure the country, we hereby renew our demands to:
* The relocation of the headquarters of the main Nigerian oil companies in the region;
* Relocation of various NNPC subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the region.
“The region also requests that the East-West highway and all federal highways in the region be completed without delay;
* Construction of the Lagos-Calabar railway,
* reconstruction and rehabilitation of the main seaports in the region, particularly Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri ”, he said.
Governor Okowa called for immediate implementation of the consent judgment filed in Supreme Court Lawsuit No: SC / 964/2016 to allow the South-South region to get its share of the $ 55 billion shortfall in revenue from contracts. shared production in inland basins and offshore.
The leaders also demanded the privatization of the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries after several failed maintenance attempts.
The region called for the release of all funds owed to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the amendment of the NDDC Act to place the commission in a front-line position.
The leaders also denounced the challenges of annual flooding in the region and called for the establishment of buffer dams to control flooding.
They also called for the completion of the abandoned Gas Revolution Industrial Park in Ogidigben and the reduction of electricity at the Okpai and Utorogu gas plants.
The Leader of the presidential delegation and the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, thanked the people of the South-South for their cooperation and assured that all issues raised at the meeting will be communicated to the President.
Gambari apologized for the fact that the meeting did not take place as scheduled for November 17.
“We are here on behalf of the President as part of the ongoing and ongoing conversation on how to improve our nation, and I must thank Delta Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for his tireless efforts to ensure this meeting takes place.
“Our young people took to the streets to express their bitterness at the mistreatment inflicted on them by the police and the President, recognizing the importance of the protesters’ demands, agreed to implement the five-point demands.
“All over the world, people have the right to protest, but in doing so, public order must be respected as well as the rights of others.
“The president commends the governors, traditional rulers and other stakeholders for their role in handling the protesters,” he said.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said that the excuse of insecurity for multinationals not to move to the South-South region is not sustainable.
He stressed that the relocation of oil multinationals in the region will help curb the concern.
He urged the Minister of State for Petroleum to make history by ensuring that oil companies relocate to the region during his reign in office.
The Vice President of the Senate, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, urged the leaders of the region to use the ongoing revision of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly, since most of the issues contained in their demands are questions constitutional.
He congratulated the South-South youth for their peaceful disposition during the protests.
He assured that all the constitutional issues surveyed will be dealt with by the Constitution Review Committee and urged the governors to prevail in their Chambers of Assemblies to give the necessary concurrence at the appropriate time.
Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu said that, in addition to the massive economic effects of the protests, 243 public facilities were burned, 71 warehouses were looted, 610 vehicles were destroyed, 134 police stations were burned, 164 police vehicles were destroyed and they carried 136 firearms.
He added that 65 civilians were killed during the protests and 37 policemen horribly murdered, while 196 people were seriously injured.
In addition, the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Yusuf Magaji-Bichi, said that the unity of the country, despite the diversity, remains the strength of the nation, adding that all hands must be on deck to ensure that peace returns to the country.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers, in a vote of thanks, commended the federal government delegation and stakeholders from the region for attending the meeting and urged federal authorities to ensure the implementation of the region’s demands.
Other governors at the meeting were Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River; Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom; Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.
The ministers who attended the meeting were Godswill Akpabio, Minister of the Niger Delta; Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum; Goddy Jedy Agba, Minister of State, Power; Festus Keyamo, Minister of State, Niger Delta; Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health.
Information Minister Lai Mohammad was also at the meeting.
But conspicuously missing was the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.
Other eminent persons at the meeting were the national president of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, rtd and the former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze Okocha (SAN).