GOVERNORS THEODORE ORJI (RIGHT), PETER OBI, OLUSEGUN MIMIKO, LIYEL IMOKE, OLU FALAE AND TONY ANENIH, DURING THE SOUTHERN LEADERS’ SUMMIT IN CALABAR, CROSS RIVER…
Leaders drawn from the various southern states in the country on Monday converged on Calabar, the Cross River State capital, where they resolved to demand the decentralization of power from the centre and strengthening of the federating states at the forthcoming National Conference.
The leaders, who met under the aegis of the Southern Leaders’ Summit, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for summoning the courage to call for a national conference but they also want the decisions reached at the dialogue to be ratified by simple majority of delegates.
In a communiqué read at the end of the summit, which was attended by nine governors, the southern states also agreed to go to the national conference with a demand for an increment in the percentage of revenue derivation from oil and gas, among others.
The communiqué read in parts, “That we propose the designing of one legislative list to be known as federal powers in the Constitution and whatever is not contained in the federal powers is to become the legislative powers of the federating units.
“That in line with the principle of democratic governance, decisions at the forthcoming National Conference should be by simple majority.
“That we endorse an increase in revenue allocation to the federating units in a way that takes cognisance of the new responsibilities and residual powers of the federating units.
“That we agree to an increment in the percentage of revenue derivation from oil and gas.
“That we recommend the removal of solid minerals from the exclusive legislative list”.
The summit also resolved that the president be commended “for his commitment and dogged efforts in fighting the menace of insecurity”, noting that “in spite of obvious security challenges in the country, the president has made remarkable progress in the development of critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, particularly in the areas of power, transport, aviation, agriculture and direct foreign investment”.
The southern leaders also restated their commitment to a united and indivisible Nigeria based on the principles of justice, equity and rule of law, with ample respect and understanding for cultural, religious and linguistic differences.
They further resolved that they “support the re-establishment of a truly federal Nigeria with the following key elements: devolution of powers to federating units, and co-ordinate and equal powers between the central government and the federating units”.
Governors, who attended the summit, include the host governor, Liyel Imoke; Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo; Peter Obi, Anambra; Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta; Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa.
Others are Theodore Orji, Abia; Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom; Martin Elechi, Ebonyi; and Sullivan Chime, Enugu.
Also in attendance were a former Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae; Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Anthony Anenih; Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha; Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel; Afenifere chieftains, Ayo Adebanjo and Supo Shonibare; former Minister of State for Petroleum, Edmund Daukoro; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Paul Adah, Third Republic governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, among others.
Governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC-controlled states in the South-West; South-South and South-East, however, stayed away from the summit.