Southwest Govs & Ministers demand implementation of CONFAB 2014 & opening of closed borders.

Key stakeholders in the Southwest including Governors, Ministers of the region and traditional rulers, met on Sunday on the state of the nation, as they among other demands called for the review of reports of past constitutional conferences including the 2014 National Conference (CONFAB) and the implementation of some of the recommendations especially with reference to security, economy, equal treatment for citizens all over the country.

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…demand opening of closed borders

…call for settlement of ASUU-FG tussle

…comprehensive programme to address youth unemployment

…adjustment of security architectures

…preventive actions against ENDSARS demonstrations

Key stakeholders in the Southwest including Governors, Ministers of the region and traditional rulers, met on Sunday on the state of the nation, as they among other demands called for the review of reports of past constitutional conferences including the 2014 National Conference (CONFAB) and the implementation of some of the recommendations especially with reference to security, economy, equal treatment for citizens all over the country.

Other resolutions made by the stakeholders at the meeting held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, include demands for the opening of closed borders; comprehensive programme which addresses youth employment; adjustment of the security architecture of the Federation to adequately address the threats and realities of insecurity; and preventive actions aimed at prevention of repeat of what happened in the country following the ENDSARS demonstrations.

Also among the resolution are calls on the Federal Government to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news; the use of technology effectively for the advancement of the Nigerian Security; calls for settlement to resolve the impasse between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government so that students in public higher institutions of learning can return to class.

The stakeholders also called for specific measures and proposals to repair damages done to the physical infrastructure and economic assets in the South West.

The forum stated that the prolonged closure of the border has caused economic difficulties and should be re-examined to alleviate problems of the people in the border communities and prices of some essential commodities.

They consequently called for the need to review the closure and permit resumption of economic and trading activities.

The leaders further called for an adjustment of the security architecture of the Federation to adequately address the threats and realities of insecurity, demanding that there should be more police presence in communities in the South west states.

The forum which demanded that a comprehensive programme which addresses youth employment and empowerment should be prioritized, emphasised the need for a closer coordination and complementarity between the States and the Federal Government to achieve such goal.

It recommended in this regard, that the curricular of tertiary institutions should be reviewed, with emphasis placed on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.

Stating that the social media played a role in further deepening the crisis that trailed the #ENDSARS Protest, the leaders called on the Federal Government to use the instrumentality of existing laws and those regulations bench-marked from other countries to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news, with recommendations on the full use of the 2015 Cyber Act.

A Communique issued following the meeting involving the Governors and Traditional Rulers of South-West States and Presidential delegation, including Ministers from the South-West, which was jointly signed by the Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Adewusi, read: “We express appreciation to Mr. President and his administration on the responsiveness to the initial demands of the ENDSARS demonstrators and for his firm handling of the aftermaths of the protest.

“We endorse the call by traditional rulers for regular consultations with state governors and federal authorities on challenges facing the state and for appropriate recognition of their role in the Constitution.

“The security architecture of the country requires adjustment to adequately address the threats and realities of insecurity in the country. There should be more police presence in communities in the South west states.

“While there are legitimate concerns contained in the initial ENDSARS movement, these have been hijacked by criminal and other elements with ulterior and negative forces and degenerated into anarchy.

“There is need to undertake preventive actions aimed at prevention of repeat of what happened in the country following the ENDSARS demonstrators. Security needs to be strengthened in all states.

“We wish to encourage the Nigeria Police by responding to their needs and appeal to them to do more to protect lives and properties and enhance security all over the country.

“We call for specific measures and proposals to repair damage done to the physical infrastructure and economic assets of the South West.

“Review of reports of constitutional conferences including 2014 National Conference and implement some of the recommendations especially with reference to security, economy, equal treatment for citizens all over the country.

“We believe that the prolonged closure of the border has caused economic difficulties and should be re-examined to alleviate problems of the people in the border communities and prices of some essential commodities. There is need to review the closure and permit resumption of economic and trading activities.

“A comprehensive programme that addresses youth employment and empowerment should be prioritized. Closer coordination and complementarity between the states and the Federal Government. In this regard, the curricular of tertiary institutions should be reviewed, with emphasis placed on skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.

“We recognize the damaging and negative impact of fake/false news and worry about its destructive and dangerous potency of fake news.

“We call on federal government to use the instrumentality of existing laws and those regulations bench-marked from other countries to provide safeguards against the spread of fake news. 2015 Cyber Act will also be fully used.

“Federal Government should ensure that technology is used effectively for the advancement of the Nigerian Security and not its destruction by working with the technology cum social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The regime of checks and gate keeping should be fully employed.

“We urge that every effort should be made to resolve the impasse between ASUU and the federal government so that students can return to school in earnest.”

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