BY HENRY UMORU
…Security, state police, excess crude, PIB top agenda
ABUJA—WORRIED by the security challenge in the country, especially with activities of Boko Haram sect where killings and destruction of property have been carried out, President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned the governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to a meeting.
Vanguard gathered yesterday that others who have also been summoned to the meeting which will hold at the Presidential Villa today, are the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Secretary, PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin.
It was gathered that the meeting has become imperative to save the governors because the President was no longer comfortable with the situation where the governors sing different tunes when they ought to have agreed on a position when national issues come up for discussions.
The President is said to be unhappy because of discordant tunes by the PDP governors over the constitutional amendments, especially with regard to the demand for State Police, as well as activities of Boko Haram.Other issues that will feature in today’s meeting include the onshore/off shore dichotomy debate and the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
A source at the party said, the PDP was pushing for a coordinated constitutional amendment. Vanguard was told: “The idea where the President, who is a product of the PDP would be continually at logger head with governors produced by the same PDP is not good for the polity. There are 36 governors, and 23 of them are from the PDP, yet they cannot speak with a voice, this is not good for the system; the meeting will endeavour to have a coordinated stand on issues.
Common stance on national issues
“It is expected that there would be a unified position at the meeting, especially as the National Assembly is about to reconvene from break.”
It will be recalled that there was a split among the governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, on the demand for State Police, just as it became a confrontation between the northern governors and the rest.
At the end of its meeting in Abuja, on July 27, the Northern governors had through their Chairman and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said they did not agree on State Police at an earlier meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum held June, 25 at the Rivers State Governor’s lodge.
According to the Northern States governors, “the forum was not in support of the creation of State Police. It however, resolved to prevail on the Federal Government to embark on Police Reform that will assist the states in control and management of Police affairs, and further emphasise on the sound philosophy for modern policing by amending the provision of section 215 of the Constitution.
Also recall that President Jonathan had said last week during the conference of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA that Nigeria as a country was not ripe for State Police.
Strong indications emerged that there was crisis on the issue of on/off shore when the Northern Governors set up a committee to discuss the on and off shore dichotomy, just as they also directed their various Commissioners for Justice to discuss the implication of the on/offshore oil production and advice on the way forward.
Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso had spoken for the northern governors, when he stressed that the policy of on/off crude oil production was not acceptable to the northern governors.
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