The Oasis Reporters
September 17, 2021
Three South South Governors attended the meeting in person. Three South West governors attended in person. The meeting was held on 16/9/2021 in Enugu, the former capital of the old Eastern region.
But with the exception of governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, the governors from the region that was hosting the meeting didn’t seem it necessary to attend the meeting in person.
At a time the entire country is contending with this grave existential crisis ?
One of the key resolutions of the first Southern Governors Forum meeting was a ban on Open Grazing of cattle across all Southern states. Remember, the indiscriminate open grazing of cattle is a major umbrella under which the murderous herdsmen hide to perpetrate their STATE-SPONSORED ethnic cleansing and land grabbing.
Almost all Southwest and South South Governors have either passed this law or are currently in the process. Even Lagos State where Bola Tinubu holds considerable sway, a man whom some perceive as unwilling to go against the centre because of his rumoured political ambition, went against the centre by passing the law.
The same Lagos has joined the ‘VAT war’ (VAT is acronym for Value Added Tax) which is a very significant step towards fiscal federalism that in turn will solve half of the Restructuring needs the South has been agitating for. Remember, South West is virtually controlled by the APC which is the same party of the Buhari led Federal Govt.
South South with Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Gov Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state and their other colleagues have been representing. No gain telling you the numerous positive implications of Wike’s initiation of the VAT war.
But in the southeast, only Enugu has passed the Anti-Open Grazing law since the Southern Governors Forum resolution. Abia has one in existence since 3 years ago. Imo has one in existence but the governor already made it clear he has no intention of seeing the law implemented. I don’t think Ebonyi state governor cares. Anambra State governor categorically made it clear his state doesn’t need such a law.
Remember, Anambra is under APGA which we say is our own party on which they put the head of our Ojukwu.
This morning, the Chairman of the Southeast governors forum, Governor Dave Umahi was on channels making subtle mockery of the Southern Governors resolution. He specifically used the term; “The hand of Esau but the body of Jacob” to refer to the Southern Governors Forum resolution. He insists he wants the FG to keep collecting VAT and sharing to the States which is basically the sustenance of the “Feeding Bottle” status quo which is why we were where we were (in the voice of Osinbajo).
Remember, he is the chairman of southeast governors forum. This is important.
And no Southeast governor has thrown his weight behind the VAT legal battle which if won, could potentially embolden states to institute legal challenge to truly assert their right as FEDERATING UNITS in a FEDERAL SYSTEM as opposed to JUNIOR BEGGERLY PARTNERS IN A UNITARY SYSTEM which is exactly what obtains now. Anyone who truly understands the meaning of SELF DETERMINATION will fully grasp the implication of this. Again, remember, the cry for Self Determination is loudest in the southeast.
In critical times and moments, their governors chose to fiddle while their Rome yet burns.
IRONICALLY, THE AVERAGE IGBO YOUTH IS MORE FIXATED ON BUHARI AND FULANI.
Indeed, we’ve spent too much time fighting to bring down a country that will eventually collapse under the weight of her internal contradictions while neglecting the one fight that matters most – the fight to own our own political space at home which is even more feasible than the former.
Written by Charles Ogbu.
Charles Ogbu is a commentator on national affairs.