Southern Reps Backs Southern Governors On Presidency, Electronic Transmission of Election Results, PIB, Others
The members of the House of Representatives from the 17 Southern states unanimously and unequivocally endorse the patriotic resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF) on the resolve that the next President of Nigeria should emerge from the southern region.
This resolution by the Southern governors reinforces our stance, as federal lawmakers, that 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 the 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 backs our governors in rejecting the moves to outlaw the electronic transmission of the 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 in transit to collation centres among others
The attempt to tamper with the Electoral Act to remove electronic transmission of results 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.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the Southern members of the House of Representatives also back our governors in rejecting the proposed 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.
We also reject the moves to vest the ownership structure Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) in the Federal Ministry of Finance and support the governors in their resolve that such should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since all tiers of government have stakes in that agency.
As lawmakers, we insist that the 30% share of profit as well as vesting ownership structure of the proposed NNPC on the ministry of finance instead of the NSIA do not reflect the desired essentials of justice, equity and fairness.
We however note the support lent by our governors to the 5% share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives, and we assure that every effort would be made to sustain our position at the harmonization level.
On security, the Southern members of the House of Representatives restate our support for the establishment of state police, ban on open grazing by southern states and that state governor, as Chief Security Officers in the states, must be duly informed before any security institution undertakes any operation in their states.
We also fully support the resolution by the governors that deductions from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the states and Federal Government to combat security challenges.
We believe that these steps are imperative in guaranteeing the security of lives and property in the states under the prevailing situation and circumstances in our country.
The Southern members of the House of Representatives restate our commitment to the unity, stability and peaceful coexistence in our country while applauding the southern governors for their unwavering patriotic stand on national issues, especially at this critical time in our national life.
Rt. Hon. Victor Nwokolo
Chairman, House of Representatives Southern Caucus