Governors of the 36 states of the federation have agreed to give up portions of their states’ share of the Excess Crude Account, the Natural Resource Development Fund and the Economic Stabilisation Fund for the purchase of necessary equipment for the military and other security institutions.
Rising from a meeting on the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) at the presidential villa, Abuja early Thursday morning, they argued that this is imperative to efficiently tackle the menace of the crimes and criminality plaguing the country.
This decision was contained in a communique issued at the end of the forum’s first physical meeting in COVID-19 era and read by its Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
He said: “Our meeting also reviewed the challenges of resourcing for our military institutions. We welcome the appointment of new services chiefs and we are supportive of the work they promised to do. We hope a new security architecture will emerge from these new leadership.
“On our part, we are prepared to support the dedication of portions of the Excess Crude Account and the Natural Resource Development Fund and the Economic Stabilisation Fund to providing the necessary equipment for the military and other security institutions to address immediately the impunity associated with all of the crimes and criminality that we have highlighted in this briefing.
“In this wise, we have also expressed our interest in strengthening our judicial system so that they can accelerate access to justice for victims of crime and criminality in the country.”
Fayemi assured of the governors’ commitment to the security of lives and property.
He further said: “Governors are irrevocably committed to the protection of lives and property in our states and we are full of sympathy for those who have lost lives and property. The governors’ forum has gone ahead to provide some financial support to victims of the conflicts experienced in Uyo and Ogun states where our delegation visited over the last week.
“Nigerian governors also are very clear that crime and criminality should be comprehensively prosecuted wherever they may occur without ethnic, religious or any other colouration.
“Governors are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crime. Knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world, whether we are talking of the way youths were profiled in Germany leading to the world war, or we talking of the way Tutsis were profiled leading to the genocide experienced in Rwanda. We do not believe that crimes are associated with a particular ethnic group. And to that extent, we unreservedly condemn any attempt to profile any ethnic group on account of a particular crime.
“Governors are also totally opposed to the proliferation of fake news, and the abuse of social media. Many of us have seen those fake videos that have almost led to reprisals in other parts of the country and we want to explore both our mainstream media organizations as well as individuals to apply restraint in the way and manner issues relating to the security of lives and property is reported.”
Fayemi said governors also stressed the need to strengthen the National Livestock Transformation Plan because of the need to do away with the old ways of rearing cattle.
He said this “because it is the view of all the governors in Nigeria that the traditional approach to grazing is no longer sustainable and that modern approach to livestock management needs to be put in place and governors feel strongly that the strengthening of the National Livestock Transformation Plan would be a good place to start this comprehensive revisiting of the livestock management arrangement.
“Governors also highlighted in the course of our meeting the importance of reviewing our forestry management and environmental laws because we feel very strongly that our forests have become the den of these criminals and bandits simply because they are not properly managed across the board.
“And to this end, it is the considered view of governors that the forestry management needs to be immediately reviewed in collaboration with the federal authorities so that these problems that we have encountered can be immediately addressed.”