Governors of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to begin the process that will lead to the creation of state police, even as they backed growing calls for restructuring.
The governors who held a meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Monday were led by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who is the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
The meeting was to deliberate on the worsening security situation and collapsing economy in the country.
Their position was contained in a communique issued after the meeting held at the International Institute For Tropical Agriculture.
The communique read, “The meeting called on Mr. President as the Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria and Commander in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces to immediately send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to amend the Nigerian 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.
“In the interim, Mr. President should summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr. President and all state governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing.
“The meeting agreed that the police force still remains the appropriate institution to secure our democracy and should not be subjected to personal attacks. The welfare, training, equipment, funding of all security agencies should be given priority.
“The meeting supports the earlier position taken by the Nigeria Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum and recently by the Southern Governors Forum to adopt ranching as the most viable solution to the herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria; the restructuring of the Nigerian federation to devolve more powers and functions to the States, and reform of various civil institutions to achieve efficiency and equity for all sections of Nigeria.
“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 governors also re-iterated their earlier call on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Electoral Act that would ensure a free and fair election, including provisions for electronic accreditation and electronic transmission of votes.”
Those in attendance were Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ( Sokoto State), Udom Emmanuel ( Akwa Ibom State), Douye Diri (Bayelsa State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), and Ifeanyi Okowa Delta State.
Others were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State), Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa State), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo State).
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State was also there while Deputy Governor Mahdi Mohd represented his boss Bello Matawalle