Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, says northerners have been kicking against Southern governors’ Asaba accord because the north is afraid that the south is now awake and “may finally attain their independence”.
The senior advocate made this known in a statement on Monday made available to The PUNCH. The statement was titled, ‘Why Some Northern Elite Are Suddenly Worried By The Southern Governors ‘Asaba Declaration?’.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that about 17 southern governors met on Tuesday in Asaba and resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot in the region as some kidnappings and killings in the Southern region have been traced to criminal elements amongst herders.
The governors called for the restructuring of the country along fiscal federalism, devolution of powers and state policing. They also called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to address the nation and convoke a national dialogue to address widespread agitations amongst various groups in the region.
But the governors’ resolution also known as the Asaba Accord has raised dust, especially in Northern Nigeria, with many critics including Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; and Senators Ali Ndume from Borno South Senatorial District, amongst others.
Reacting in a statement on Monday, Ozekhome stated, “The sudden unexpected kick by some Northern elite against the patriotic resolutions passed last week at a meeting held in Asaba by the 17 Southern Governors of Nigeria is quite worrisome, but definitely uncalled for. The kick is illegal, unconstitutional and even immoral.
“The sudden hoopla and ruckus seem to suggest that these few vocal elements are suddenly scared. What are they afraid of? I do not know. Or do you? But, let me do some guess work here. They may probably be afraid that the South has finally woken up and shaken off its Stockholm Syndrome.
I guess they are scared that the assumed long suffering ‘slaves’ of Nigeria may finally achieve their overdue liberation, liberty and freedom, and attain their independence from the asphyxiating grip of perpetual overlords, ‘slave’ masters, neo-Colonialists and territorial expansionists.
“They may fear that under a true fiscal federation, anchored on the true principles of Federalism, everyone will now be required to contribute to the baking of the national cake and not just merely sharing it.”
Ozekhome also slammed the President for jetting to Paris for the African Finance Summit amid the rising insecurity in Nigeria.