State governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called for the devolution of powers to states as one of the ways to tackle the disturbing trend of insecurity in the country.
This formed part of many resolutions reached by the governors on Monday when they met in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to further review the state of the nation.
The governors stressed the need to take action to advance the conversation on what they described as the worsening security situation and collapsing economy of the nation.
In a communique issued at the end of the deliberation, they asked President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently send an executive bill to the National Assembly.
The bill, they noted, was to amend the 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.
The governors also asked the President to convene a meeting of the Nigerian Police Council to develop strategies on how to combat the recent attacks on police formations, especially in the southern part of Nigeria.
According to them, the Police Force remains the appropriate institution to secure Nigeria’s democracy and must not be subjected to personal attacks.
While noting that the welfare and funding of security agencies should be given priority, the governors backed the adoption of ranching as the most viable solution to the crisis between herders and farmers, the restructuring of the country to devolve more powers and functions to the states, as well as reform of civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of the country.
Governors at the meeting included Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).
Others were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).
However, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State was represented at the meeting by his deputy, Mahdi Mohd.
The communique signed by Governor Tambuwal, who is the PDP Governors’ Forum Chairman, read in part:
The meeting enjoins all Nigerians to work together to achieve peace and harmony with one another, devoid of discrimination based on ethnicity, religion and other cleavages.
To this end, the meeting called on the incompetent and rudderless 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 reiterated our earlier call 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.