…Warn Nigeria on brink of ‘failed state
…Want power devolved via restructuring of country
…Want security architecture decentralized
…Call for transparency in NNPC
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Nigerian state governors elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition political party, after a joint meeting in Makurdi, Benue State, declared that they want a new revenue sharing formular that allocates more resources to the states and the local government areas.
As a result, they charged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to send a new revenue allocation formular that gives out more funds to the 36 federating states and the LGAs to President Muhammadu Buhari for the National Assembly’s action.
Nigeria, running a federal system of government since 1979, after a long military interregnum, had long developed the habit of sharing its revenues among its federating states and the local government councils. Through the RMAFC, revenues received mainly from crude oil sales are shared in order of oil production quota, population, number of LGAs, among others.
The PDP governors in a communique read by their chairman, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and governor of Sokoto State, also said: “time has come to take advantage of the ongoing Constitution amendment process to decentralise the security architecture of Nigeria and involve States and Local Governments.”
Tambuwal explained that the governors reaffirmed their conviction that, an urgent devolution of powers and restructuring of the country in a way that brings together various groups and tendencies in the country appears to have become imperative and timely now as Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.
The governors said, it was scandalous that 21 years after the 1999 Constitution came into being, no new revenue formular had been in place.
The PDP elected governors equally called for a “more transparent and accountable running and operation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
They warned that if the alarming drift of Nigeria under the watch of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government continues, the country will become a failed state.
Tambuwal said PDP Governors were distressed that Nigeria was now officially the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world at 33 per cent, and second highest poverty rate in the world under the disastrous leadership of APC.
He said, they expressed deep concern and alarm at the deteriorating relations between various groups in Nigeria, even as all the country’s fault lines and differences are being stretched to the limit by the APC government that clearly lacks the capacity to govern.
The governors under the aegis of the PDP Governors’ Forum met in Makurdi, Benue State on Friday to review the state of affairs in the country, and common developments in their states.
Tambuwal who read the communiqué issued at the end of their meeting, observed that due to the rise in ethnic and tribal tensions, religious divisions, and various forms of social and political cleavages, Nigeria was in dire need of leadership at the federal level to avert the looming disaster.
“The meeting was similarly alarmed that security of lives and property of Nigerians are no longer guaranteed under the present government as a result of leadership incompetence and mismanagement of the nation’s affairs. While noting that Governors have a role to play in the handling of some of the worsening situations, they regret their hands are tied behind their backs as the entire coercive authority in the country is monopolised by the APC federal government,” the PDP governors’ forum chairman said.
He said PDP governors further condemned the intimidation of their incumbent colleagues by the APC administration using all sorts of weapons like security agencies, unequal access to federal resources, promotion of divisions in the opposition political parties with fake promises and falsehoods.
“We significantly condemn the double standards that are applied by the APC-led federal government to intimidate PDP controlled states. To this end, we call on Mr. President to lift the so called “No flight Zone” and other intimidating tactics, imposed on Zamfara State as similar measures have not been extended to similar states with security challenges like Kaduna, Borno, Katsina, Yobe and others. This is mostly politically motivated to ensure that the Governors move over to APC,” the governors said.
Frontpage September 20, 2018