Federal Government of Nigeria says suggestions made by the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are the same as the recommendations that emanated from the Town Hall Meeting of 8th April 2021.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
The PDP had accused the Federal Government of not engaging and of running a government of exclusion.
Mohammed said, “Federal Government has consistently engaged Nigerians on topical national issues, including security, the fight against corruption, terrorism, infrastructure and farmer-herder conflict.”
According to him, the Town Hall Meeting series, which was launched in 2016, has so far been held 18 times across Nigeria.
He stated that “It’s always a no-holds-barred opportunity for the government to engage with critical stakeholders, briefing them on government policies and programmes and getting their feedback, thus ensuring inclusion and deepening of democracy.”
The Minister said the latest of such Town Hall Meetings was the one in Kaduna, with the theme: “Setting Benchmarks for enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria.”
Mohammed added that the Town Hall Meeting reached the following resolutions:
i. That the governance of human society should be based on Law rather than the whims and caprices of human beings and must be obeyed by all as all persons are equal before the law including the lawgivers.
ii. That there is urgent need for political restructuring and not separation.
iii. That the Judiciary be decentralized and reformed through Constitutional Amendment to remove the unitary control of the Superior Courts.
iv. That governments at all levels should ensure free, qualitative, and compulsory Primary Education for all children of school age.
v. That the Military, Police, and other Security Agencies should be expanded in number, retrained, provided with modern equipment and technology to cope with emerging security challenge.
vi. That both religious and traditional leaders should encourage and promote inter-marriages for unity as contained in the 1999 Constitution as amended, Article 15, 3(c) which prescribes
inter-marriage among persons from different places of origin, or of different religious, ethnic, or linguistic association or ties.
vii. That the establishment of State Police should be supported by the National and State Houses of Assembly to enable State Governments have firm control in addressing security issues.
viii. That Traditional Rulers should be given their age-long role of maintaining peace and security within their domain.
ix. The Local Government Autonomy be actualized to enable them have control of their areas including the ungoverned spaces in tackling security challenges.
x. And finally that the Farmers/Herders clashes be addressed by establishment of ranches, grazing reserves with modern amenities to check the trans-humans of the herders.
The Minister added, “the PDP did not acknowledge this national engagement that featured panellists from academia and civil society.”
“We have taken those resolutions to the National Economic Council, Chaired by His Excellency the Vice President, and which also includes all the state governors.
“As a prelude to adopting the recommendations, the NEC has directed all state governors to organize state-wide consultation on them, and then revert to the Council in its next meeting.”