Politics

Buhari cannot ignore 17 Southern Governors – Governor Rotimi Akeredolu says

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Ondo state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has expressed optimism that President Buhari will embrace the call for a national dialog and the need for state policing.

The Governor was speaking against the backdrop of the meeting of Southern Governor held on Wednesday in Asaba, Delta state.

At the meeting, governors of 17 southern states had made demands including placing a ban on open grazing in the south, while asking the president to be fairer in political appointments, and also calling for a national dialogue.

Commenting on the resolutions during an interview on Arise News on Wednesday night, Akeredolu said it is highly unlikely that the presidency will ignore the southern governors.

He said: “Getting a presidential buy-in might be some cause for concern, but 17 governors from the south… I believe that whatever we have said should be given some weight, it must be something that has to be considered. That means the presidency will look at it and consider it. The number is large. It is more or less like half of us.

“I know that if we had called our brothers in the middle belt, they would have signed up to this. I even know that there are some of our brothers even in the north that would have signed up to this communique, who also believe that the time has come for us to have dialogue.

“I know Mr president. He gets this. It has to be considered. It must be considered. Because the number of governors involved are not one you can just push aside. When you talk about this dialogue, it is a matter of serious concern to us. It is not a parlour gossip. It is a matter that came from serious, in-depth discussion of governors.”

Akeredolu said some of the northern governors had earlier opposed open grazing and pushed for the creation of state police.

He said: “We have a number of northern governors who support our position. I give an example with the governor of Kano state who had over and over again, vehemently opposed open grazing.

“He is a Fulani man and he continually says that open grazing is not in the interest of his own people and that to continue in this mode of animal husbandry in this age and time, is also not in the interest of the Nigerian economy.”

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