2023: South-South gives restructuring as condition for votes
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2023: South-South gives restructuring as condition for votes





By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

As Nigerians begin the count down for the 2023 general elections, the South-South geopolitical zone has vowed not to fund any political groups that are not willing to implement the restructuring.

Already the South-South has drawn what it called restructuring priorities for a better Nigeria.

In a statement issued at the weekend, the South-South group under the aegis of South-South Study Group, 3SG gives the conditions that would influence their voting pattern which includes an agreement and commitment to constitutional devolution of powers to enable: community policing with the regulation of levels of weaponry at state and local government.

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The agreement according to the statement issued by the spokesman of the group, Prince Otoks-Dan Princewill also includes licensing jurisdictions for federating units over electricity, mining, conduct/contracting of marriages, birth and death registration, driving and car licensing as well as Port and Jetties, and related activities, with provision for minimal Federal taxes, royalties/rents and stamp duties as the case may be.

Besides, there would be an agreement and commitment to enable derivation principles as enshrined in Sections 134-136 of the 1960 Constitution of Nigeria, extended to reflect current geopolitical facts with 50% derivation as preferable target, with provision for a Federal fund to support states requiring an agreed period for developing their mineral endowments. 

The statement read: “The people of the South-South geopolitical zone comprising Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States have always championed the values of fairness, equity, autonomy and solidarity as motivations for federating with other Nigerians in the Federal Democratic Republic. 

“The people of the zone were therefore in the forefront of agitations to provide guarantees in the foundational constitutional compact to ensure that governance in Nigeria was not informed by the tyranny of any group or nationalities over others. This informed the concerns and representations of the people of the zone before the Willinks Minority Commission in 1957. 

“Despite the justifiable and recurrent fears and concerns expressed by the zone, the Nigerian polity has incrementally degenerated to a sorry state where the people of the South-South constantly have to reconsider if the cost of federating is worth the benefits to its people, thus making the call for restructuring ever more urgent

“Restructuring from the South-South perspective simply refers to the policy and administrative remedies to cure existing defects and ensure lasting, effective, and ideal governance in Nigeria while enabling a better livelihood for all its citizens. 

“To perpetuate the tyrannies and injustices which make federating with others difficult in the current scheme of things, beneficiaries of the current distorted system make claims that they do not understand what the South-South and the majority of Nigerians who genuinely want to live in a better country mean by, and demand, through restructuring. 

“For this reason and to avoid conflation of the issues, the South-South geo-political zone through the South-South Study Group (3SG) has decided to outline the priority issues that should shape initiatives and steps towards a genuine implementation of restructuring.”

It further said, “Whereas more granular details are embodied in the priorities outlined below, the South-South geopolitical zone expects a minimum of the following priorities to be implemented constitutionally and administratively to begin the journey towards restructuring:

“Clearly defined founding principles which embrace values that will provide for an enduring Federal democratic republic; 

“Agreement and commitment to providing for a separate and dedicated constitution for all constituent federating unit in each geopolitical zone; 

“Agreement and commitment to constitutional devolution of powers to enable: community policing with the regulation of levels of weaponry at state and local government; licensing jurisdictions for federating units over electricity, mining, conduct/contracting of Marriages, Birth and death registration, Driving and car licensing as well as Port and Jetties, and related activities, with provision for minimal Federal taxes, royalties/rents and stamp duties as the case may be. 

“Agreement and commitment to enable derivation principles as enshrined in Sections 134-136 of the 1960 Constitution of Nigeria, extended to reflect current geopolitical facts with 50% derivation as preferable target, with provision for a Federal fund to support states requiring an agreed period for developing their mineral endowments 

“Agreement and commitment to enable power rotation, zoning of elective offices, particularly presidential, gubernatorial, LGA Chairmanship and legislative seats on consociation basis between constituents of all constitutionally defined jurisdictions 

“Agreement and commitment to enable the constitutional organization of the Armed forces such that the federal Army is made up always of a 40% contribution of the armed forces from each of the six geopolitical zones, where each zone retains 60% within their geopolitical zonal command. 

“Unequivocal constitutional clauses to enable national and sub-national referendum with clearly defined procedures for enabling public participation in such referenda for key public decision-making 

“To propagate these priorities of the South-South zone concerning the implementation of Restructuring, the South-South will lend its support and commitment to all causes, social movements, political and social organizations that will see to the earliest implementation of these priorities and the granular details needed to make them into implemented state and federal policies.”


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