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‘Zoning Is Unconstitutional,’ Northern Governors Oppose Power Shift To South

Governors of the northern states meet with traditional rulers in the region in Kaduna State on September 27, 2021.

Governors of the 19 states in the North have opposed the call by their southern counterparts that the Presidency should be zoned to the South in 2023.

This formed part of the resolutions reached on Monday when the governors held an emergency meeting with traditional rulers in the region at the Government House in Kaduna State.

Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, read out the communique containing the resolutions on behalf of his colleagues.

According to the governors, zoning the office of the President as being agitated by southern governors is against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

They stated that any president elected must meet the constitutional requirements which include scoring the majority votes, and polling at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in two-thirds of the 36 states of the Federation.

Governor Lalong noted that although some northern governors had endorsed power shift to the South, the regional governors collectively condemned such calls.

He also briefed reporters on the position of the governors regarding the lingering dispute between the Federal Government and states over the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).

The northern governors, Lalong said, are aware that the case is before the court, and it will amount to sub-judice to take a decision on the matter.

He, however, explained that VAT should not be mistaken by state governments as a sales tax, saying allowing every state to enact its VAT law would result in multiple taxations, increases in prices of goods and services, as well as a collapse in inter-state trade.

On the security of the region, the northern governors commended the ongoing military onslaught against bandits and insurgents in parts of the North.

Despite the progress made, they decried the alleged high level of conspiracies perpetrated by some judicial officers in releasing and granting bail to arrested criminals.

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