Atiku, Jonathan encourages Southern Governors accord

Atiku, Jonathan encourages Southern Governors accord

Two former President and Vice-President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan and Atiku Abubakar have lend their voice in support of Southern Governors accord on Open land grazing.


According to Goodluck Jonathan, on Sunday, 16th May, in Benin, the Edo State capital, “If the governors meet and dialogue, interrogate things that are good for this country, then we will move forward.”


The former President spoke against the background of the southern governors meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, where they declared that there should be an “urgent national dialogue”.

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Atiku, Jonathan encourages Southern Governors accord
Atiku, Jonathan encourages Southern Governors accord

Jonathan, speaking after delivering an address to mark the 50th birthday of Apostle Charles Osazuwa, president of the Rock of Ages Christian Assembly, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports, emphasised the importance of the governors in the political set up, “especially in a country where the local governments are very week. It is the states that people fall back on.”



Not speaking exactly on the Asaba declaration, the ex-President said: “Governors themselves should continue to meet, I don’t really love a situation where the northern governors will meet, then the southern governors will cry foul.


“Then the southern governors will meet, the northern governors will cry foul, that will not help our country.

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“The governors, through the Governors’ Forum, should meet, they are the people who run this country, the President is just one person in Abuja.


“I don’t really enjoy the antagonism between governors (North and South). They should come together and discuss.


“If there are issues that are affecting one or two states, I think the governors should see how they can collectively come with a way to address those issues.”

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Delivering his messages at the birthday, Jonathan explained: “My belief, particularly when I joined politics is not to use a temporary privilege, a temporary position God has given to me to punish people.’’



“Some of the things I did while in office to which people still make reference were based on the conviction not to use my position to cause the death of anybody.


“Any position I have occupied by divine providence should not be used to create hardship for other people.’’

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The governors during the accord urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation in addition to a call for restructuring and a reaffirmation of their total ban on open cattle grazing in the South, especially herders from the North “on foot”.


But Senate President Ahmad Lawan leads those criticising the governors for their call. He accused them of resorting to “regionalism”.



Lawan said they should first carry out restructuring in their states, where they have “diminished” the local government administration.

Atiku, Jonathan encourages Southern Governors accord
Atiku, Jonathan encourages Southern Governors accord

Countering from the North, Atiku Abubakar called on governors to stop waiting on the Federal Government before they can tackle insecurity in the nation.


In a statement released on Sunday titled, ‘Nigeria Is drifting: We must stop waiting for Godot,’ Atiku emphasised the need for all governors to convene a national unity summit to tackle insecurity in the country.


“For too long, we have erroneously thought that the power to make effective changes lies at Aso Rock. But without the states, nobody can get to Aso Rock,” he said.


Referring to the fact that some governors have met earlier, Atiku still posits that it is better for all governors to meet and find solutions rather than wait on the Federal Government.


He said, “I call on Nigerian governors to stop waiting on Abuja to make changes, and instead convene a National Unity Summit of all Nigerian governors to iron out the thorny issues affecting the destiny of our nation until they figure out a way to resolve them.



“Forget about your party. Forget about your tribe. Respect your religion and allow it to bring out the better part of you. Meet together. Talk together. Come up with the solutions to all our collective challenges.


“And then go back to your states, and consult with your federal and state legislators, with a view to getting them to work with their colleagues to implement the solutions you came up with,” Atiku said.


According to him, this is “how to save Nigeria” as he goes further to describe waiting for the Federal Government to effect changes as “a luxury we cannot afford.”

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