Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has started receiving 16 of his colleagues from Southern Nigeria, The PUNCH has learnt.
The governor arrived at Alausa, Ikeja, the venue of their meeting on the state of the nation.
The meeting is holding eight weeks after the governors met in Asaba, the Delta State capital, on May 11, 2021. At the meeting, the governors would further assess decisions taken in Asaba on the open grazing ban, restructuring, fiscal federalism and the call for state police.
Some of the early birds at the meeting include Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo) represented by his deputy, Philip Shaibu.
Others are Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Diri Duoye (Bayelsa), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Ben Ayade (Cross Rivers), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), and Oluwaseyi Makinde (Oyo).
Recall that the governors in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting in Asaba, banned open grazing as part of moves to address killings and kidnapping by herdsmen.
But a few days after the meeting, the Presidency faulted the ban on open grazing. The Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, had, in a statement, said, “It is equally true that their (governors’) announcement is of questionable legality, given the constitutional right of all Nigerians to enjoy the same rights and freedoms within every one of our 36 states (and FCT), regardless of the state of their birth or residence.”
Also, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, slammed the southern governors for banning open grazing.
According to the AGF, open grazing ban is the same thing as Northern governors banning spare parts trading in their own region, considering the fact that southerners comprise a majority of spare parts traders in the North.
The President, during a recorded television interview in June, also backed Malami’s position, adding that he had directed that grazing routes be recovered.