From Paul Osuyi, Asaba, Tony John, Port Harcourt, Okwe Obi, Abuja
Speakers of the southern states’ Houses of Assembly have pledged their commitment to giving legislative strength to the ban on open grazing as proclaimed by the 17 governors of the southern states of Nigeria.
Besides, they said they were ready to galvanise their respective parliaments to legislate on other resolutions of the southern governors for the country to overcome its current challenges and make progress.
The speakers made their position known in a resolution signed by the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, who doubles as the Deputy National Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria.
Others were Mr Aniekan Bassey, Vice Chairman (South South) of the conference; Francis O.Nwifuru, Vice Chairman (South East) of the conference; and Prince Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo, Vice Chairman (South West) of the conference.
“We, also, urge the governors to send bills to the legislature, where necessary, to address some of the issues in the communique,” they stated.
The state legislative leaders also called for national dialogue, restructuring of the country and respect for federal character. They commended southern governors for coming together to speak with one voice, saying that their resolutions were pathways to resolving the problems facing the country.
The speakers’ communique read: “We, the speakers of state legislatures in Southern Nigeria, commend the governors of the southern states for their patriotism and firm belief in the unity of the country.
“We salute the governors for their initiative and restate our support for their positions. We wish to state, unequivocally, that the issues canvassed in the communique are neither new nor strange, rather they require swift response from the Federal Government.
“The country is currently undergoing very challenging times and requires bold and audacious measures to stop it from sliding into abyss.
“We maintain that the positions of the governors, ascontained in the communique issued on May 11, 2021, in Asaba, are sacrosanct and a guarantee for justice, fairness and equity in the country.We adopt all the positions in the communique and reiterate the call for the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south. We support the call for the restructuring of the country to enthrone true federalism and, therefore, the convocation of a national dialogue is inevitable.That this will afford stakeholders from all parts of the country to table their prejudices and, together, work out a sustainable relationship as one indivisible country.”