2023: Fresh twist as Northern govs reject calls for power shift to South

Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Northern traditional rulers rose from their joint emergency meeting in Kaduna on Monday to kick against the call for power shift to the South in 2023.
Southern states governors had barely two weeks ago held a meeting in Enugu where they advocated for power shift to the South at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure come 2023, but the Northern governors tasked their Southern counterparts and other stakeholders to take recourse to the Nigerian constitution which stated that for the candidate to become president, he or she must win by simple majority in 2/3 states.  
The Northern governors and monarchs stated that rotational presidency is unconstitutional, saying that, the demand of their southern counterparts was a contradiction.
Reading the communique of the meeting, NSGF Chairman and Governor of Plateau state, Simon Bako Lalong, said the governors and monarchs in their position on the open grazing called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
“The Northern States Governors’ Forum, in its continuous efforts to address the challenges bedeviling the Northern States convened an Emergency Meeting today Monday 27th September, 2021 at the Council Chamber of Sir, Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna. The meeting was also attended by Chairmen of Northern States Traditional Council led by His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto.

“The Forum discussed issues of peace, progress, development and wellbeing of the Northern States. The Forum took stock of progress made in handling challenges of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and insurgency.”After extensive deliberations, the following resolutions were arrived at:- The Forum reviewed security updates from the region and observed the need for a sustained synergy and coordinated efforts between the Federal and Northern states governments while noting success of recent measures.  ..

“The meeting also noted with concern the constraint of the security services and urged the Armed Forces to embark on simultaneous operations and resolved to share the plans of the front line states come up with common with other Region; and assured of its readiness to work in synergy with the Federal Government of Nigeria in finding lasting solution to the current security challenges. “The Forum appreciated the ongoing onslaught against banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram especially in the North East and parts of North West and North Central states and encouraged the Armed forces and other security agencies to sustain the tempo to enable the security challenges be permanently addressed in the shortest time.”The Forum received updates on the Renewable /Solar Energy Project and noted that request for land for the project had been submitted and are being processed by the Northern states. The Committee had commenced negotiations in a public private arrangement and sovereign guarantees to ensure bankability of the project by multilateral financial organisations.  ..

“The Forum called on states yet to process the request for allocation of land for the project to expedite action. The meeting received updates on activities of some Committees constituted by the Northern States Governors’ Forum and noted that recommendations contained therein are being considered with a view to coming up with implementation strategies. “The Forum observed that some Northern states governors had earlier expressed views for a powers shift to three geopolitical zones in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation. Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemned the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South. ..

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“The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended that the elected President shall:- score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 states of the Federation. In the case of run-up simple majority win the election. “The Traditional rulers councils appreciated the efforts made so far by the NSGF in addressing the key areas of challenges facing the Northern states, they expressed their willingness, solidarity and collaboration with the governors’ in addressing these challenges particularly the issue of security. It was equally resolved that perpetrators of crimes should be dealt with irrespective of their status in the society. “The Forum decried the high level of conspiracies being perpetrated by some judicial officers in releasing /granting bail to arrested criminals. This attitude sabotages the fight against criminality, therefore, therefore the need to develop good and robust intelligence mechanism amongst states was identified as a panacea.  ..

“The Forum calls on security agencies to live up to their responsibility, traditional rulers are to equally mobilize their various communities in checkmating the ugly trend of criminality in their domains.”The Forum noted the ugly trend in the spread of drug consumption amongst the teeming youth and therefore, calls on all levels of governments and communities to rise to the occasion by stemming the tide,” Lalong said. ..

The meeting was attended by Governors Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, Simon Lalong of Plateau, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto, Prof. Babagana Zulum of Borno, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, Abubakar of Jigawa, and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state.  The traditional rulers in attendance include; Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, Lamidon Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu, Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa and Emir of Gumi, Justice Lawal Aliyu…Others are; Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Sidi Bage Muhammad, Emir of Fika, Alhaji Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammad Idrisa, Emir of Hadejia, Dr. Adamu Abubakar, Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar and Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi.