Nigeria’s Northern Governors Rebuff Political Zoning, Say It’s Unconstitutional

Governors of the 19 states in Northern Nigeria have opposed the call by their southern counterparts that the Presidency of the country should be zoned to the South in 2023.

The Northern States Governors’ Forum – NSGF, on Monday, rose from its emergency meeting held in Kaduna State to carpet the position of their Southern counterparts that power must shift to the south, saying it is against the spirit and letter of the Constitution.

It also said it is sub-judice to act on the controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) while the case between Rivers State and the Federal Government is before the Supreme Court but went ahead to offer its position.

On open grazing, it called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).

Those in attendance include the governors of Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Borno, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Gombe. The governors of Niger, Kogi, Benue, Zamfara and Taraba states were represented by their deputies.

In The meeting was also attended by chairmen of Northern States Traditional Council, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111.

In his remark, the host governor, Nasir el-Rufai, said the Northern region is facing severe economic and security challenges that require the convening of the emergency meeting between the governors and traditional rulers. And the forum will help chart a way forward to deal with these issues. 

The 11-point resolutions were read by the chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.

Commenting on the security situation of the region, the forum observed the need for a sustained synergy and coordinated efforts between the Federal and Northern states governments.

The meeting also noted, with concern, the constraint of the security services and urged the armed forces to embark on simultaneous operations.

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