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Emphasising that southern governors were only echoing the voice of their people, Okowa maintained on his Twitter handle that it was the right thing to do as leaders of a people who had continuously and audibly made their demands known.
The Southern Governors’ Forum recently held a meeting in Asaba, Delta State, where they called for restructuring of the country and banned open grazing by Fulani herdsmen.
The resolutions did not sit well with some politicians, but Okowa said their resolutions were meant to bring peace to the region and the country.
“We reaffirmed that as a people, as elected governors, we believe in the unity of our country, but we also went forward to advance the need for certain things to be done in order to give strength to that unity,” Okowa said.
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On the matter of restructuring, which the governor recognised was what everybody in the country wanted but might differ in their approach, he spoke of the need to “sit and dialogue, in order to decide what is good for Nigeria.”
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan had criticised southern governors for advocating the restructuring of the country, saying it was inappropriate for elected officials to lead such agitation.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila had also faulted the call, challenging the governors to replicate restructuring in their states.
There have also been criticisms, especially from politicians from the northern part of Nigeria.
Responding to the critics, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, in a more brazen fashion, said he had “taken further steps to fulfill what the southern governors said in Asaba.”
“We have taken a position and there is no going back. Enough is enough; we are not second class citizens in this country. We also own this country and must partake in this country,” he noted.