Posted by By Samuel Oyadongha on
Yenagoa — Senators from the Southern part of Nigeria under the aegis of the Southern Senators Forum, yesterday insisted that come 2007 presidential election.....
Yenagoa — Senators from the Southern part of Nigeria under the aegis of the Southern Senators Forum, yesterday insisted that come 2007 presidential election, power must go to either the South-South or South East. The forum resolved to set up a committee to dialogue with the Northern Senators Forum with a view to achieving this objective.
Rising from a two day retreat held in Yenagoa with the theme "Southern Nigeria in the Contemporary Politics of our Country", the Southern senators however, pledged their commitment to the unity, peace and indivisibility of Nigeria as a single political entity for the good of the people.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its exhaustive deliberations on the state of the nation, signed by Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and Senator David Brigidi, chairman and secretary respectively, the Southern Senators Forum noted that "in consideration of the six years of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa’s government, nine years of General Yakubu Gowon government, six months of Gen Murtala Mohammed’s government, eleven years of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, four years of Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s government, two years of Gen Buhari’s government, eight years of Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s government, three months of Chief Ernest Shonekan’ government, five years of Gen Sani Abacha’s government and a pitiable six months of Gen Ironsi’s government, it is only fair, just and equitable that the South-East or South-South produce the next President of Nigeria on the principle of rotation."
They also called on all levels of governments to progressively pursue infrastructural development that would support private sector initiatives in rapid industrialization as a sure way of addressing the unacceptable level of unemployment, restiveness, violent crimes and poverty in the country.
The senators called for a revisit to the botched constitutional amendment by the National Assembly demanding that the proposed review should address the following;
•The removal of all the ambiguities in SS 8 & 9 of the 1999 constitution to pave way for the creation of an additional state in the South East.
•Raise the bar of derivation from the present 13% to 25% in revenue sharing in Nigeria
•Ensure financial autonomy of the legislature at all level of government in Nigeria.
•Making the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) truly independent both in its finances and its tenure.
•Devolution of some of the powers of the Federal Government to the states in line with the principle of true federation.
•Recognizing the six geo-political zones as a basis for the distribution of key Federal appointment and institution.
The retreat, was attended by many senators including Iyiola Omisore, Uche Chukwumerije, Inatimi Rufus Spiff, John Brambaifa, Ekweremandu, and Daisy Danjuma among others. They also agreed to undertake a tour of the various states in the South-South, South East and South-West to drum up support for the constitutional issues raised.
The Forum however commended President Olusegun Obasanjo for his reform agenda, aggressive power sector development and his zero tolerance of corruption and thanked the Bayelsa State government for providing a serene and conducive atmosphere that made the retreat possible.