The Southern Governors Forum, has received significant backing on their demands which they made after their historic meeting in Lagos.
Lawmakers from the region in the House of Representatives in a unanimous voice endorsed the resolutions reached by the Forum especially on certain sections of the Petroleum Industry Bill, Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, and the rotation of the Presidency in 2023.
Chairman of the Southern Caucus, Victor Nwokolo, in a statement issued on Tuesday, July 6, titled, ‘Southern Reps Backs Southern Governors On Presidency, Electronic Transmission of Election Results, PIB, Others.’ declared the support.
Nwokolo, said the Reps unanimously and unequivocally endorse the patriotic resolution of the SGF on the resolve that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the southern region.
“Our nation must and should exist on the pillars of justice, equity, fairness, peaceful co-existence, and mutual respect, particularly in the political, economic and structural management of our national diversity.”
“We note that the demand that the next President of Nigeria should come from the southern region unambiguously represents the opinion of the majority of Nigerians across board, in tandem with the already established rotation of presidency position between southern and northern Nigeria.
“Furthermore, against the backdrop of our commitment towards free, fair, credible and transparent elections, the members of the House of Representatives from the South also back our governors in rejecting the moves to outlaw the electronic transmission of election result in the Electoral Act, as well as the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.
“We hold that electronic transmission of results directly from the polling unit is a firm step towards the elimination of result collation related malpractices, including alteration of figures, mutilation of documents, snatching and diversion of ballot materials on transit to collation centres, among others.
“The attempt to tamper with the Electoral Act to remove electronic transmission of result is, therefore, a malicious and unpatriotic act aimed to emasculate our electoral system, undermine our democracy and destabilize our dear country, and such cannot be condoned or justified under any guise whatsoever.” said the statement.
They also supported the establishment of State Police and ban on open grazing adding that Governors as Chief Security Officers of their respective states, must be duly informed before any security institution undertakes any operation in their states.
They also backed the Governors in the rejection of the proposed 30 per cent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.