…also make case for true Federalism
Tony Anichebe, Uyo
A foremost socio-political organisation in Akwa Ibom State, Ibom Patriots, has backed the position taken by Southern governors on crucial regional and national issues, describing their stance as fundamentally right and applaudable.
Ibom Patriots made their stance known in a statement jointly signed by the chancellor of the forum, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen; the Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Barr. Usenobong Akpabio; Dr. Okon Emah, Uyo Senatorial District Chairman; Arc. Okon Obot, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District Chairman and Sir Adasi Ubulom, Eket Senatorial District Chairman.
The pan-Akwa Ibom group equally noted that the meetings by Southern governors held in Asaba, Delta State, on May 11 and the recent one in Enugu on September 16, 2021 rightly captured the feelings and viewpoints of the people.
They commended the governors for being brave, responsive and sensitive to the pervading threats of insecurity “which are causing trepidations among the various the various peoples of the region and the nation as a whole”.
Alarmed by what it described as the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into the southern part of the country with it attendant security challenges “such that the citizens are not able to live their normal lives nor pursue their various productive activities”, the forum supported the enactment of the anti-open grazing law by states in the region, while backing the need for development of alternative modern livestock management system by those in the business.
While lending their voice in support of the evolution of the state police and review of revenue allocation formula in favor of sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which will legitimately advance our commitment to the practice of true federalism as part of calls for restructuring, the organidation also called for the enthronement of justice, equity and fairness in the country to reflect the oneness of the nation.
The group also backed the setting up of regional security outfits to further strengthen the fight against insecurity, and also called for review of appointments to reflect the federal character principle.
They also aligned with southern governors on their position over collection of VAT by states, adding that the development will promote the drive for self-actualization by states rather than depending wholly on the Federal Government’s monthly allocation.
The forum commended Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and other states that have so far implemented the joint decision to outlaw open cattle grazing through formal legislations, adding that it is the right way to go.
“It is time we embraced the alternative modern livestock management system in the country,” the statement added.
They regretted that Nigeria is still enmeshed in ethno-religious crisis, maladministration, nepotism, ravaging insecurity and other avoidable maladies, maintaining that the way forward, among other things, is the fight against criminals bandits and the like must be holistic, with the security agencies adequately equipped to carry out their duties effectively.
“Our leaders must be truthful in their actions and governance of the country. Adherence to truth not sentiments, the prevalence of justice, equity and fairness not nepotism, are the incontrovertible ingredients for an ideal society,” the statement said.
The organisation equally aligned with the southern states on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), demanding best practices in its management in order to guarantee optimal operations and due benefits to the region.