Daily Independent
Tuesday 20th December, 2005
Communique of the conference of governors, legislators, ministers, traditional rulers, socio-political leaders of southern states of Nigeria, held in Enugu
Consequent upon the compelling needs to firmly state our position, and especially attendant upon the attempts at sweeping over the basic interests of the Southern States of Nigeria, we exercised the highest of caution and responsibility as we confronted the political and economic future of Nigeria.
Having, therefore, deliberated elaborately on such fundamental national issues brought as tabled, and having consulted widely on ways and means of attaining all-inclusive solutions, we the Governors, national and states' Legislators, Leaders of major political parties, ministers, traditional rulers and leaders of socio-political organisations, have formed precise impressions on the issues tabled and therefore resolve as follows:

That we are shocked, and therefore condemn, in its entirety, the clear attempts at polarising Nigeria into North and South, which we understand are indications of stiff arrogance carelessly exhibited and indeed directed at elements, groups and institutions in Southern States of Nigeria in the last few weeks;
That we are baffled by this unbecoming stance and insistence of some political leaders from the Northern States of Nigeria that national political leadership, and indeed power, should be taken back to the North just after a mere eight years of a Southern Nigerian holding the power in over 35 years, an attitude we understand to represent a certain Northern position to keep the Southerners in perpetual political servitude;
That while the South, particularly the South-south, produces over 85 per cent of the national resources, it is surprising that the North objects to the humble and modest demand of a mere compensatory share;
That in effect, it is clearly known to all Nigerians, and indeed any interested party or observer, that the North held the presidency for 35 of the 45 years of independence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and cannot be justifiably asking for a return of the same power after a mere eight years (by 2007) it has been held by a Southerner;
That against these backdrops, we the Conference of Governors, Legislators, Ministers, Traditional Rulers, Leaders of major Political parties and Leaders of Socio-political organisations and bodies, plainly demand from Nigerians - North and South alike - the following:
*that the constitutional review exercise embarked on should continue and should indeed continue to advance, conclusively, to seek to reflect physical, as well as fiscal, federalism and further, Conference warns that the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly must not be intimidated, threatened, cajoled and/or blackmailed in the performance of their legitimate and Constitutional duties and responsibilities of law making including constitutional amendment, in so far as these reforms advocated shall be on the basis of peaceful consultation and dialogue between South and the North or the South and other zones in the North;
*that restated historically and anchored on unimpeachable facts, the presidency and ultimate executive leadership of Nigeria, had been held as follows:
a. North East: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, 1960 - 1966 (five and half years);
b. South East: Gen. Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, January 1966 - July 1966 (six months);
c. North Central: Gen Yakubu Gowon, July 1966 - 1975 (nine years);
d.North West: Gen. Murtala Muhammed, July 1975 - February 1976 (six months);
e. South West: Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, February 1976 - October 1979 (three years, eight months);
f. North West: Alhaji Shehu Shagari, 1979 - 1983 (four years, three months);
g. North West: Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, 1983 - 1985 (20 months);
h. North Central: Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, 1985 - 1993 (eight years);
i. South West: Chief Ernest Shonekan, August 1993 - November 1993 (83 days);
j. North West: Gen. Sani Abacha, 1993 - 1998 (five years);
k. North Central: Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, 1998 - 1999 (one year); and,

l. South West: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, May 1999 - 2007 (eight years when completed in 2007);
Summary of which is also as follows:
a. North-Central: 18 years
b. North-West: 11 years
c. North-East: 6 years
( Total of 35years )
d. South-West: 9 years
e. South-East: (6 months)
f. South-South Nil
(Total of 9 years and 6 months)

iii. That consequent upon the political realities of this conscionable historical data, we restate and firmly resolve that cognizance must be given and indeed, the presidency - post-2007 - zoned to, either South South (the nation's nest of fortune), which never tasted the plum job or the South East, which merely sniffed it for six months;
iv. that Conference demands that the process of Constitutional Amendment/Reform must commence immediately and be concluded and effected prior to the 2007 elections, failing which the South shall boycott the 2007 elections and consider the reconstitution of the Country as a Confederation on the basis of the six geo-political zones, with each zone retaining its resources and contributing to the center on the basis of an agreed principle, failure of which the South shall stop forthwith resources derived from its geopolitical zone;
v. that an immediate review of the revenue allocation which should emphasize derivation be immediately undertaken, inclusive of all revenue from petroleum, solid minerals, VAT, seaport, and airport usage, and that in furtherance, we restate the principle of inalienable right of States/Zones to control their own resources, consequent upon which we demand and insist on 25 per cent, graduating, in five years, to 50 per cent derivation, to rightfully accrue to States/zones;
vi. that as contained in the United Nation's criteria for censuses, religious/ethnic data must form a part of any credible demography, upon which we insist that our planned national headcount must reflect data on religion, ethnicity and other facts which are relevant in national economic planning and development;
vii. that having been evidenced in the history of exercises in states' creation, as totally negating equity and popular participation, since the creation of Mid-west in 1963, we, therefore, firmly demand and insist on the creation of a State from the South East geopolitical zone;
viii. that the Southern States strongly commend and support not only the reform efforts of President Olusegun Obasanjo, but also acknowledge the laudable and rewarding crusade against corruption, the historic achievement of debt relief, and the unceasing and practical efforts at keeping Nigeria united and indivisible, such as in near sacrifice of his life to bring about democratic rule in Nigeria;
ix. that the Conference commends President Olusegun Obasanjo as a truly detribalized and visionary Nigerian Leader, who has initiated reforms and policies to reposition Nigeria within the comity of nations with a view to taking the nation to the promised land;
x. that failure to recognize and respond positively to the above positions and stand of the South, will leave the Southern States of Nigeria with no option than to seek a confederal arrangement for the geo-political zones, therein, to address this imbalance;
xi. and finally, that Conference stands firmly for a united, peaceful, democratic and equitable Nigeria nation with mutual respect amongst its constituent members;
6. That this Conference, which is to be known as the Southern Forum, has set up a 36-man Working Committee and Secretariat for communications, furtherance of the principles, execution of elements of these resolutions and interactions/negotiations/discussions, with necessary persons, groups, organizations and institutions and of course, needy and willing geopolitical zones so desirous and qualified to be considered, in the continuous reviews of the foregoing;
7. That this Committee comprises the following:
1. Ambassador M.T. Mbu - Chairman
2. Igwe Paul Egbogu - Vice Chairman
3. Dr. Dejo Raimi - Secretary-General

4. Dr. Peter Odili
5. Dr. Olusegun Agagu
6. Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani
7. Senator Ugochukwu Uba
8. Senator C.K. Awoyelu
9. Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw
10. Hon. Patience Ogodo
11. Hon. (Dr.) Bernard Esio Udoh
12. Chief Mike Adenuga
13. High Chief Raymond Dokpesi
14. Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu
15. Professor Joe Irukwu
16. Col. GOJ. Achuzia
17. Chief Jimoh Ibrahim
18. Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfewa
19. Chief Rasheed Williams
20. Hon. Ikwo Minimah
21. Chief Blessom Akpoloma
22. Chief Celestine Omehia
23. Chief Samuel Ogbemudia
24. Chief Olisa Metu
25. Hon. KGB Oguakwa
26. Chief Hope Uzodinma
27. Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly
28. Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly
29. Speaker from a South West State House of Assembly
23. Mrs. Herberta Okonofua
31. Chief Alfredo Awa
32. Dr. Charles Amanze
33. Nominee from the South West
34. - same - SW
35. - same - SW
36. - same - SW

8. That the terms of reference of this Committee shall be, but not limited to:

i. Studying and expanding on the principles of the resolutions of this conference,
ii. Organising studies, body of knowledge and principles in founding equity for a multi-ethnic nation as Nigeria,
iii. identifying other agitating points of the Southern States of Nigeria and building such into the overall objectives of this Conference,
iv. mobilizing, coordinating and analysing zonal, group and institutional interests for the purposes of attaining the overall objectives of this conference,
v. fostering broad support and alliance among Southern States of Nigeria,
vi. Organising seminars, workshops, rallies and symposia to sensitise Nigerians on the need to insist on equity and popular participation as the consistent propellants of democracy,
vii. initiating, opening and consolidating discussions with other institutions, groups and states, especially those from the geo-political zones of Northern Nigeria, so desirous of appreciating the elements of these resolutions and overall objectives of the Conference,
viii. Maintaining efficient media relationship to disseminate in full such information that will assist the Conference in keeping the right kind of public opinion on the objectives of the Conference.
ix. recruiting and maintaining such caliber of staff who shall contribute to realize the objectives of this Conference,
x. Designing the methods for running a well-directed national secretariat,

Signed, today, Monday, 19 December, 2005, by:

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu
Conference Chairman